By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Address to the Non-Slaveholders of the South - on the Social and Political Evils of Slavery
Author: Tappan, Lewis
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Address to the Non-Slaveholders of the South - on the Social and Political Evils of Slavery" ***

                                 TO THE
                     NON-SLAVEHOLDERS OF THE SOUTH,
                                 ON THE
                       SOCIAL AND POLITICAL EVILS

                               New York:

    For Sale at the Depository of the Amer. and For. A. S. Society,
    NO. 61 JOHN STREET, NEW YORK, at $35 per thousand, $4 per
    hundred, 50 cents per dozen, and 5 cents for a single copy.
                                   WILLIAM HARNED, Publishing Agent.



We ask your attention to the injuries inflicted upon you and your
children, by an institution which lives by your sufferance, and will die
at your mandate. Slavery is maintained by _you_ whom it impoverishes and
degrades, not by those upon whom it confers wealth and influence. These
assertions will be received by you and others with surprise and
incredulity. Before you condemn them, ponder the following
considerations and statistics.

We all know that the sugar and cotton cultivation of the South is
conducted, not like the agriculture of the North, on small farms and
with few hands, but on vast plantations and with large gangs of negroes,
technically called "the force." In the breeding States, men, women and
children form the great staple for exportation; and like other stock,
require capital on the part of those who follow the business of rearing
them. It is also a matter of notoriety, that the price of slaves has
been and still is such as to confine their possession almost exclusively
to the rich. We might as well talk of poor men owning herds of cattle
and studs of horses, as gangs of negroes. When an infant will bring one
hundred, and a man from four hundred to a thousand dollars in the
market, slaves are not commodities to be found in the cabins of the
poor. You are moreover aware that the great capitalists of the South
have their wealth chiefly invested in plantations and slaves, and not as
with us in commerce and manufactures.

It has been repeatedly stated that Mr. Carroll, of Baltimore, the former
president of the Colonization Society, was the owner of 1,000 slaves.
The newspapers, in announcing the death of Mr. Pollock, of North
Carolina, remarked that he had left 1,500 slaves. In the account of Mr.
Madison's funeral, it was mentioned that he was followed to the grave by
100 of his slaves, and it is probable that the women and children were
not included. The following article, from the _Gospel Messenger_ for
August, 1842, gives us some idea of the feudal vassalage prevailing on
the estates of some of your lordly planters. "A NOBLE DEED.--Dr. Mercer,
of Adams county, Mississippi, has lately erected, at his own expense,
and for the advantage of his _vast_ plantation, and the people on his
lands, a neat church and parsonage house, at the cost of over $30,000.
He pays the salary of the minister, $1,200 a year, besides his meat and
bread. On Bishop Otey's late visit to that congregation, he and Mr.
Deacon, the incumbent, baptized in one day _one hundred and eight_
children and _ten_ adults, all belonging to the plantation."

At the North a farmer hires as many _men_ as his work requires; at the
South the laborers cannot be separated from the _women_ and _children_.
These are _property_, and must be owned by somebody. Now when we take
this last circumstance into consideration, and at the same time
recollect that the very value of the slaves debars the poor from owning
them--and connect these two facts with the character of the cultivation
in which slave labor is employed; we must be ready to admit that those
who do employ this species of labor, cannot on an average hold less than
_ten slaves_, including able-bodied men, their wives and children. It
appears by the census, that of the slave population, the two sexes are
almost exactly equal in number; and that there are two children under
ten years of age, for every male slave over that age. Hence, if a
planter employs only three men, we may take it for granted that his
slave family consists of at least 12 souls, viz.: 3 men, 3 women, and 6
children. We of course estimate the number of children too low, since
there will be some over ten years of age. It thus appears that the
average number of slaves we assign to each slaveholder is probably far
below the truth; but we purposely avoid even the approach to
exaggeration. Now the number of slaves in the United States by the last
census, was 2,487,113; of course according to our estimate of ten slaves
to one master, there can be only 248,711 slaveholders.

    The number of _white males over 20 years of age_
      in the slave states and territories was              1,016,307
    Deduct Slaveholders, viz.                                248,711
    And we have the number we are now addressing             767,596

We are not forgetful that our enumeration must embrace some who are the
_sons_ of slaveholders, and who are therefore interested in upholding
the system,--but we are fully convinced that our estimate of the number
of slaveholders is far beyond the truth, and that we may therefore
safely throw out of account the very moderate number of slaveholders'
sons above 20 years of age, and not themselves possessing slaves.

Here then, fellow-citizens, you see your strength. You have a majority
of 518,885 over the slaveholders; and now we repeat, that with a
numerical majority of more than half a million, slavery lives or dies at
_your_ behest.

We know that this result is so startling and unexpected, that you will
scarcely credit the testimony of figures themselves. It is so commonly
taken for granted, that every white man at the South is a slaveholder,
that many will doubtingly inquire, where are these non-slaveholding
citizens to be found? We answer, everywhere. Is poverty of rare
occurrence in any country? Has it ever happened that the mass of any
people were rich enough to keep, for their own convenience, such
expensive laborers--as southern slaves? Slavery moreover is monopolizing
in its tendency, and leads to the accumulation of property in few hands.
It is also to be observed, that the high price of slaves, and the
character of the cultivation in which they are employed, both conspire
to concentrate this class of laborers on particular spots, and in
the hands of large proprietors. Now the census shows that in some
districts the slaves are collected in vast numbers, while in others they
are necessarily few. Thus, for instance, in Georgetown district,
S. Carolina, there are about 7.5 slaves to every white man, woman and
child, in the district. Now if from the white population in this
district we exclude all but the slaveholders themselves, the average
number of slaves held by them would probably exceed one hundred. On the
other hand, we find all through the slave States, many districts where
the slaves bear a very small proportion to the whites, and where, of
course, the non-slaveholders must form a vast and overwhelming majority.
A few instances must suffice.

      The whites are to the slaves in  Brook Co., Va., as    85 to 1
        "         "         "          Yancy Co., N. Car.,   22 to 1
        "         "         "          Union Co., Ga.,       35 to 1
        "         "         "          De Kalb Co., Ala.,    16 to 1
        "         "         "          Fentress Co., Tenn.,  43 to 1
        "         "         "          Morgan Co., Ky.,[1]   74 to 1
        "         "         "          Taney Co., Mo.,       80 to 1
        "         "         "          Searcy Co., Ark.,    311 to 1

    [1] Mr. Nicholas, in a speech in the Kentucky Legislature in 1837,
        objected to calling a convention to alter the Constitution,
        because in such a convention he believed the abolition of
        slavery would be agitated; and he reminded the house, that
        in the State "the slaveholders do not stand in the ratio of
        more than one to six or seven." Of course slavery is
        maintained in Kentucky, through the consent of the

There is not a State or Territory in the Union in which you,
fellow-citizens, have not an overwhelming majority over the
slaveholders; and the majority is probably the greatest in those in
which the slaves are the most numerous, because in such they are chiefly
concentrated on large plantations.

It has been the policy of the slaveholders to keep entirely out of sight
their own numerical inferiority, and to speak and act as if _their_
interests were those of the whole community. They are the nobility of
the south, and they find it expedient to forget that there are any
commoners. Hence with them slavery is the INSTITUTION of the SOUTH,
while it is in fact the institution of only a portion of the people of
the south. It is their craft to magnify and extol the importance and
advantages of _their_ institution; and hence we are told by Gov.
McDuffie, that slavery "is the CORNER STONE of our republican
institutions." To defend this corner stone from the assaults of truth
and reason, he audaciously proposed to the legislature, that
abolitionists should be punished "with death without benefit of clergy."
This gentleman, like most demagogues, while professing great zeal for
the PEOPLE, whose interests were for the most part adverse to slavery,
was in fact looking to his own aggrandizement. He was, at the very time
he uttered these absurd and murderous sentiments, a great planter, and
his large "force" was said to have raised in 1836, no less than
122,500 lbs. of cotton.[2] In the same spirit, and with the same design,
the Report of a Committee of the South Carolina Legislature, made in
1842, speaks of slavery "as an ancient domestic institution, _cherished
in the hearts of the people at the south_, the eradication of which
would demolish our whole system of policy, domestic, social, and

    [2] See the newspapers of the day.

The slaveholders form a powerful landed aristocracy, banded together for
the preservation of their own privileges, and ever endeavoring, for
obvious reasons, to identify their private interests with the public
welfare. Thus have the landed proprietors of England declaimed loudly on
the blessings of dear bread, because the corn laws keep up rents and the
price of land. The wealth and influence of your aristocracy, together
with your own poverty, have led you to look up to them with a reverence
bordering on that which is paid to a feudal nobility by their hereditary
dependents. Hence it is, that, unconscious of your own power, you have
permitted them to assume, as of right, the whole legislation and
government of your respective States. We now propose to call your
attention to the practical results of that control over _your_
interests, which, by your sufferance, they have so long exercised. We
ask you to join us in the inquiry how far you have been benefitted by
the care of your guardians, when compared with the people of the North,
who have been left to govern themselves. We will pursue this inquiry in
the following order:

     1. Increase of Population.
     2. State of Education.
     3. State of Industry and Enterprise.
     4. Feeling towards the Laboring Classes.
     5. State of Religion.
     6. State of Morals.
     7. Disregard for Human Life.
     8. Disregard for Constitutional Obligations.
     9. Liberty of Speech.
    10. Liberty of the Press.
    11. Military Weakness.

                       I. INCREASE OF POPULATION.

The ratio of increase of population, especially in this country, is one
of the surest tests of public prosperity. Let us then again listen to
the impartial testimony of the late census. From this we learn that the
increase of population in the free States from 1830 to 1840, was at the
rate of 38 per cent., while the increase of the _free_ population in the
slave States was only 23 per cent. Why this difference of 15 in the two
ratios? No other cause can be assigned than slavery, which drives from
your borders many of the virtuous and enterprising, and at the same time
deters emigrants from other States and from foreign countries from
settling among you.

The influence of slavery on population is strikingly illustrated by a
comparison between Kentucky and Ohio. These two States are of nearly
equal areas, Kentucky however having about 3000 square miles more than
the other.[3] They are separated only by a river, and are both
remarkable for the fertility of their soil; but one has, from the
beginning, been cursed with slavery, and the other blessed with freedom.
Now mark their respective careers.

    [3] American Almanac for 1843, p. 206.

In 1792, Kentucky was erected into a State, and Ohio in 1802.

             Free population of Kentucky.    Free population of Ohio.

    1790             61,227,                     a wilderness.
    1800            180,612,                         45,365
    1810            325,950,                        230,760
    1820            437,585,                        581,434
    1830            522,704,                        937,903
    1840            597,570,                      1,519,467

The representation of the two States in Congress, has been as follows:

        1802,      Kentucky   6,      Ohio   1,
        1812,          "      9,       "     6,
        1822,          "     12,       "    14,
        1832,          "     13,       "    19,
        1842,          "     10,       "    21,

The value of land, other things being equal, is in proportion to the
density of the population. Now the population of Ohio is 38.8 to a
square mile, while the free population of Kentucky is but 14.2 to a
square mile--and probably the price of land in the two States is much in
the same proportion. You are told, much of the wealth is invested in
negroes--yet it obviously is a wealth that impoverishes; and no stronger
evidence of the truth of this assertion is needed, than the comparative
price of land in the free and slave States. The two principal cities of
Kentucky and Ohio are Louisville and Cincinnati; the former with a
population of 21,210, the latter with a population of 46,338. Why this
difference? The question is answered by the _Louisville Journal_. The
editor, speaking of the two rival cities, remarks, "The most potent
cause of the more rapid advancement of Cincinnati than Louisville is the
ABSENCE OF SLAVERY. The same influences which made Ohio the young giant
of the West, and is advancing Indiana to a grade higher than Kentucky,
have operated in the _Queen_ City. They have no _dead weight to carry_,
and consequently have the advantage in the race."

In 1840, Mr. C. M. Clay, a member of the Kentucky Legislature, published
a pamphlet against the repeal of the law prohibiting the importation of
slaves from the other States. We extract the following:

    "The world is teeming with improved machinery, the combined
    development of science and art. _To us it is all lost; we are
    comparatively living in centuries that are gone; we cannot make
    it, we cannot use it when made._ Ohio is many years younger, and
    possessed of fewer advantages than our State. Cincinnati has
    manufactories to sustain her; last year she put up one thousand
    houses. Louisville, with superior natural advantages, as all the
    world knows, wrote 'to rent,' upon many of her houses. OHIO IS A

Mr. Thomas F. Marshall, of Kentucky, in a pamphlet published the same
year, and on the same subject, draws the following comparison between
Virginia and New York:

    "In 1790, Virginia, with 70,000 square miles of territory,
    contained a population of 749,308. New York, upon a surface of
    45,658 square miles, contained a population of 344,120. This
    statement exhibits in favor of Virginia a difference of 24,242
    square miles of territory, and 408,188 in population, which is
    the _double_ of New York, and 68,600 more. In 1830, after a race
    of forty years, Virginia is found to contain 1,211,405 souls,
    and New York 1,918,608, which exhibits a difference in favor of
    New York of 607,203. The increase on the part of Virginia will
    be perceived to be 463,187, starting from a basis more than
    double as large as that of New York. The increase of New York,
    upon a basis of 340,120, has been 1,578,391 human beings.
    Virginia has increased in a ratio of 61 per cent., and New York
    in that of 566 per cent.

    "The total amount of property in Virginia under the assessment
    of 1838, was $211,930,508. The aggregate value of real and
    personal property in New York, in 1839, was $654,000,000,
    exhibiting an excess in New York over Virginia of capital of

    "Statesmen may differ about policy, or the means to be employed
    in the promotion of the public good, but surely they ought to be
    agreed as to what prosperity means. I think there can be no
    dispute that New York is a greater, richer, a more prosperous
    and powerful State than Virginia. What has occasioned the
    difference?... There is but one explanation of the facts I have
    shown. The clog that has stayed the march of her people, the
    incubus that has weighed down her enterprise, strangled her
    commerce, kept sealed her exhaustless fountains of mineral
    wealth, and paralyzed her arts, manufactures and improvement, is

These statements were made before the results of the last census were
known. By the census of 1840, it appears that in the ten preceding

    The population of Virginia has increased                  28,392
    In the same time the population of N. Y. increased       710,413
    The rate of increase in Virginia was         2.3 per cent.
      "             "       New York,           33.7   "
    Virginia has 12.5 free inhabitants to a square mile.
    New York 52.7      "       "                "     "

    In 1790, Massachusetts, with Maine, had but 378,717 inhabitants,
       "     Maryland,                          319,728     "
    In 1840, Massachusetts alone,               737,699     "
       "     Maryland,                          469,232     "

Now let it be recollected that Maryland is nearly _double_ the size of
Massachusetts. In the last there are 98.8 free inhabitants to the square
mile; in the former only 27.2.

If we turn to the new States, we find that slavery and freedom have the
same influence on population as in the old. Take, for instance, Michigan
and Arkansas. They came into the Union about the same time--

        In 1830, the population of Arkansas was           30,388
        In 1840,         "            "                   97,574
        In 1830,         "         Michigan,              31,639
        In 1840,         "            "                  212,267

The ratio of increase of white inhabitants, for the last ten years, has
been in Arkansas as 200 per cent; in Michigan, 574 per cent. In both
instances the increase has been chiefly owing to immigration; but the
ratio shows the influence of slavery in retarding immigration. Compare
also Alabama and Illinois--

    In 1830, the free population of Alabama, was        191,975
      "           "        "        Illinois,           157,455
    Excess in favor of Alabama                           34,520
    In 1840, free population of Illinois,               476,183
      "        "      "         Alabama,                337,224
    Excess in favor of Illinois,                        138,959

We surely need not detain you with farther details on this head, to
convince you what an enormous sacrifice of happiness and prosperity you
are offering on the altar of slavery. But of the character and extent of
this sacrifice you have as yet had only a partial glimpse. Let us
proceed to examine


The maxim that "Knowledge is power," has ever more or less influenced
the conduct of aristocracies. Education elevates the inferior classes of
society, teaches them their rights, and points out the means of
enforcing them. Of course, it tends to diminish the influence of wealth,
birth, and rank. In 1671, Sir William Berkley, then Governor of
Virginia, in his answer to the inquiries of the Committee of the
Colonies, remarked, "I thank God that there are no free schools nor
printing presses, and I hope we shall not have them these hundred
years." The spirit of Sir William seems still to preside in the councils
of his own Virginia, and to actuate those of the other slave States.

The power of the slaveholders, as we have already showed you, depends on
the acquiescence of the major part of the white inhabitants in their
domination. It cannot be, therefore, the interest or the inclination of
the sagacious and reflecting among them, to promote the intellectual
improvement of the inferior class.

In the free States, on the contrary, where there is no caste answering
to your slaveholders--where the _People_ literally partake in the
government, mighty efforts are made for general education; and in most
instances, elementary instruction is, through the public liberality,
brought within the reach of the children of the poor. You have
lamentable experience, that such is not the case where slaveholders bear

But you will receive with distrust whatever _we_ may say as to the
comparative ignorance of the free and slave States. Examine then for
yourselves the returns of the last census on this point. This document
gives us the number of white persons over twenty years of age in each
State, who cannot read _and_ write. It appears that these persons are to
the _whole_ white population in the several States as follows, viz.:

    Connecticut, 1 to every 568       Louisiana,   1 to every 38-1/2
    Vermont,     1      "   473       Maryland,    1      "   27
    N. Hamp.,    1      "   310       Mississippi, 1      "   20
    Mass.,       1      "   166       Delaware,    1      "   18
    Maine,       1      "   108       S. Carolina, 1      "   17
    Michigan,    1      "    97       Missouri,    1      "   16
    R. Island,   1      "    67       Alabama,     1      "   15
    New Jersey,  1      "    58       Kentucky,    1      "   13-1/2
    New York,    1      "    56       Georgia,     1      "   13
    Penn.,       1      "    50       Virginia,    1      "   12-1/2
    Ohio,        1      "    43       Arkansas,    1      "   11-1/2
    Indiana,     1      "    18       Tennessee,   1      "   11
    Illinois,    1      "    17       N. Carolina, 1      "    7[4]

    [4] This summary from the return of the census, is copied from
        the Richmond (Va.) Compiler.

It will be observed by looking at this table, that Indiana and Illinois
are the _only_ free States, which in point of education are surpassed by
_any_ of the slave States: for this disgraceful circumstance three
causes may be assigned, viz., their recent settlement, the influx of
foreigners, and emigration from the slave States. The returns from New
York, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are greatly affected by
the vast number of foreigners congregated in their cities, and employed
in their manufactories and on their public works. In Ohio, also, there
is a large foreign population: and it is well known that comparatively
few emigrants from Europe seek a residence in the slave States, where
there is little or no employment to invite them. But what a commentary
on slavery and slaveholders is afforded by the gross ignorance
prevailing in the old States of South Carolina, Virginia, and North
Carolina! But let us proceed. The census gives a return of "scholars at
public charge."

    Of these, there are in the free States,                  432,173
        "           "          slave States,                  35,580

Ohio alone has 51,812 such scholars,--more than are to be found in the
13 slave States! Her neighbor Kentucky has 429!! Let us compare in this
particular the _largest_ and the _smallest_ State in the Union.

    Virginia has scholars at public charge                     9,791
    Rhode Island                                              10,912[5]

    [5] See American Almanac for 1842, page 226.

But we have some _official_ confessions, which give a still more
deplorable account of Southern ignorance. In 1837, Governor Clarke, in
his message to the Kentucky Legislature, remarked, "By the computation
of those most familiar with the subject, ONE THIRD OF THE ADULT

Governor Campbell reported to the Virginia Legislature, that from the
returns of 98 clerks, it appeared that of _4614 applications for
marriage licenses in 1837, no less than 1047 were made by men unable to

These details will enable you to estimate the impudence of the following
plea in behalf of slavery:

    "It is by the existence of slavery, exempting so large a portion
    of our citizens from the necessity of bodily labor, that we have
    leisure for _intellectual pursuits_, and the means of attaining
    a liberal education."--_Chancellor Harper of South Carolina on
    Slavery._--_Southern Literary Messenger, Oct. 1838._

Whatever may be the leisure enjoyed by the slaveholders, they are
careful not to afford the means of literary improvement to their
fellow-citizens who are too poor to possess slaves, and who are, by
their very ignorance, rendered more fit instruments for doing the will,
and guarding the human property of the wealthier class.

                     III. INDUSTRY AND ENTERPRISE.

In a community so unenlightened as yours, it is a matter of course, that
the arts and sciences must languish, and the industry and enterprise of
the country be oppressed by a general torpor. Hence multitudes will be
without regular and profitable employment, and be condemned to poverty
and numberless privations. The very advertisements in your newspapers
show that, for a vast proportion of the comforts and conveniences of
life, you are dependent on Northern manufacturers and mechanics. You
both know and feel that slavery has rendered labor disgraceful among
you; and where this is the case, industry is necessarily discouraged.
The great staple of the South is cotton; and we have no desire to
undervalue its importance. It, is however, worthy of remark, that its
cultivation affords a livelihood to only a small proportion of the free
inhabitants; and scarcely to any of those we are now addressing. Cotton
is the product of slave labor, and its profits at home are confined
almost exclusively to the slaveholders. Yet on account of this article,
we hear frequent vaunts of the agricultural riches of the South. With
the exception of cotton, it is difficult to distinguish your
agricultural products arising from slaves, and from free labor. But
admitting, what we know is not the fact, that _all_ the other
productions of the soil are raised _exclusively_ by free labor, we learn
from the census, that the agricultural products of the North exceed
those of the South, cotton excepted, $226,219,714. Here then we have an
appalling proof of the paralyzing influence of slavery on the industry
of the whites.

In every community a large portion of the inhabitants are debarred from
drawing their maintenance directly from the cultivation of the earth.
Other and lucrative employments are reserved for them. If the
slaveholders chiefly engross the soil, let us see how you are
compensated by the encouragement afforded to mechanical skill and

In 1839 the Secretary of the Treasury reported to Congress,

    that the tonnage of vessels built in the United States was   120,988
    Built in the slave States and Territories                     23,600

Or less than one-fifth of the whole! But the difference is still more
striking, when we take into consideration the comparative _value_ of the
shipping built in the two regions:

    In the free States the value is                    $6,311,805
    In the slave do.                                      704,291[6]

    [6] See American Almanac for 1843, page 153.

It would be tedious and unprofitable to compare the results of the
different branches of manufacture carried on at the North and the South.
It is sufficient to state that, according to the census, the value of
the manufactures

    In the free States are                              $334,139,690
    In the slave States                                   83,935,742

Having already compared Ohio and Kentucky in reference to population and
education, we will pursue the comparison as to agricultural and
mechanical industry. On account of contiguity, and similarity of extent,
soil and climate, no two States can perhaps be so aptly contrasted for
the purpose of illustrating the influence of slavery. It should also be
borne in mind that Kentucky can scarcely be called a cotton State,
having in 1840 raised only 607,456 lbs. of that article. Hence the
deficiency of agriculture and other products in Kentucky arises, not
from a peculiar species of cultivation, but solely from the withering
effects of slavery.

                                           _Ohio._        _Kentucky._

    Wool,                               3,685,315 lbs.     1,786,842
    Wheat,                             16,571,661 bushels  4,803,152
    Hay,                                1,022,037 tons        88,306
    Fulling mills,                            205                  5
    Printing-offices,                         159                 34
    Tanneries,                                862                387
    Commercial houses in foreign trade,        53                  5
    Value of machinery manufactured,     $875,731            $46,074

In one species of manufacture the South apparently excels the North, but
unfortunately it is in appearance only. Of 9657 distilleries in the
United States, no less than 7665 were found in the slave States and
Territories; but for want of skill and capital these yield 1992 gallons
less than the other.

Where there is so much ignorance and idleness, we may well suppose that
the inventive faculties will be but little exercised; and accordingly we
find that of the 545 patents granted for new inventions in 1846, only 80
were received by the citizens of the slave States. We have thus,
fellow-citizens, offered you the testimony of figures, as to the
different state of society under freedom and slavery; suffer us now to
present you pictures of the two regions, drawn not by abolitionists, but
by Southern artists, in unguarded hours. Mr. Clowney, of South Carolina,
thus portrayed his native State, in the ardor of debate on the floor of

    "Look at South Carolina now, with her houses deserted and
    falling to decay; her once fruitful fields worn out and
    abandoned for want of timely improvement or skilful cultivation;
    and her thousands of acres of inexhaustible lands, still
    promising an abundant harvest to the _industrious_ husbandman,
    lying idle and neglected. In the interior of the State where I
    was born, and where I now live, although a country possessing
    all the advantages of soil, climate and health, abounding in
    arable land, unreclaimed from the first rude state of nature,
    there can now be found many neighborhoods where the population
    is too sparse to support a common elementary school for
    children. Such is the deplorable condition of one of the oldest
    members of this Union, that dates back its settlement more than
    a century and a half, while other States, born as it were but
    yesterday, already surpass what Carolina is or ever has been, in
    the happiest and proudest day of her prosperity."

This gentleman chose to attribute the decline of South Carolina to the
tariff; rather than to the obvious cause, that one-half of the PEOPLE of
South Carolina are poor, ignorant, degraded SLAVES, and the other half
suffering in all their faculties and energies, from a moral pestilence
which they insanely regard as a blessing and not a curse. Surely it is
not owing to the tariff, that this ancient member of the Union has
20,615 white citizens over twenty years of age who do not know their
letters; while Maine, with double her population, has only 3,241.

Now look upon a very different picture. Mr. Preston, of South Carolina,
not long since delivered a speech at Columbia in reference to a proposed
rail-road. In this speech, in order to stimulate the efforts of the
friends of the road, he indulged in the following strain:

    "No Southern man can journey (as he had lately done) through the
    Northern States, and witness the prosperity, the industry, the
    public spirit which they exhibit--the sedulous cultivation of
    all those arts by which life is rendered comfortable and
    respectable--without feelings of deep sadness and shame as he
    remembers _his own neglected and desolate home_. There, no
    dwelling is to be seen abandoned--not a farm uncultivated. Every
    person and every thing performs a part towards the grand result;
    and the whole land is covered with fertile fields, with
    manufactories, and canals, and rail-roads, and edifices, and
    towns, and cities. We of the South are mistaken in the character
    of these people, when we think of them only as pedlars in horn
    flints and bark nutmegs. Their energy and enterprise are
    directed to all objects great and small within their reach. The
    number of rail-roads and other modes of expeditious
    intercommunication knit the whole country into a closely
    compacted mass, through which the productions of commerce and of
    the press, the comforts of life, and the means of knowledge, are
    universally diffused; while the close intercourse of travel and
    of business makes all neighbors, and promotes a common interest
    and a common sympathy. How different the condition of these
    things in the South! _Here_ the face of the country wears the
    aspect of premature old age and decay. NO IMPROVEMENT IS SEEN
    GOING ON, nothing is done for posterity. No man thinks of
    anything beyond the present moment."

Yet this same Mr. Preston, thus sensitively alive to the superior
happiness and prosperity of the free States, declared in the United
States Senate, "Let an abolitionist come within the borders of South
Carolina, if we can catch him we will try him, and notwithstanding all
the interference of all the governments of the earth, including the
Federal Government, we will HANG him."[7] In other words, the
slaveholders, rather than part with their slaves, are ready to murder,
with all the formalities of law, the very men who are laboring to confer
on them the envied blessings of the North.

    [7] We are well aware that Mr. Preston has denied, what no one
        asserted, that he had said an abolitionist, if he came into
        South Carolina, would be executed by Lynch law. He used the
        words we have quoted. (See "New York Journal of Commerce,"
        Jan. 6th, 1838).


Whenever the great mass of the laboring population of a country are
reduced to beasts of burden, and toil under the lash, "bodily labor," as
Chancellor Harper expresses it, must be disreputable, from the mere
influence of association. Hence you know _white_ laborers at the South
are styled "mean whites." At the North, on the contrary, labor is
regarded as the proper and commendable means of acquiring wealth; and
our most influential men would in no degree suffer in public estimation,
for holding the plough, or even repairing the highways. Hence no poor
man is deterred from seeking a livelihood by honest labor from a dread
of personal degradation. The different light in which labor is viewed at
the North and the South is one cause of the depression of industry in
the latter.

Another cause is the ever-wakeful jealousy of your aristocracy. They
fear the PEOPLE; they are alarmed at the very idea of power and
influence being possessed by any portion of the community not directly
interested in slave property. Visions of emancipation, of agrarianism,
and of popular resistance to their authority, are ever floating in their
distempered and excited imaginations. They know their own weakness, and
are afraid you should know it also. Hence it is their policy to keep
down the "mean whites." Hence their philippics against the lower
classes. Hence their constant comparison of the laborers of the North,
with their own slaves; and hence, in no small degree, the absence among
you of those institutions which confer upon the poor that knowledge
which is _power_. Do you deem these assertions uncharitable? Listen to
their own declarations:

    "We believe the servitude which prevails in the South far
    preferable to that of the _North_, or in Europe. Slavery will
    exist in all communities. There is a class which may be
    nominally free, but they will be virtually
    _Slaves_."--_Mississippian, July 6th, 1838._

    "Those who depend on their daily labor for their daily
    subsistence can never enter into political affairs: they never
    do, never will, never can."--_B. W. Leigh in Virginia
    Convention, 1829._

    "All society settles down into a classification of capitalists
    and laborers. The former will _own_ the latter, either
    collectively through the government, or individually in a state
    of domestic servitude, as exists in the Southern States of this
    confederacy. If LABORERS ever obtain the political power of a
    country, it is in fact in a state of REVOLUTION. The capitalists
    north of Mason and Dixon's line, have precisely the same
    interest in the labor of the country, that the capitalists of
    England have in their labor. Hence it is that they must have a
    strong federal government (!) _to control_ the labor of the
    nation. But it is precisely the reverse with us. We have already
    not only a right to the proceeds of our laborers, but we OWN a
    _class of laborers_ themselves. But let me say to gentlemen who
    represent the great class of capitalists in the North--beware
    that you do not drive us into a separate system; for if you do,
    as certain as the decrees of heaven, you will be compelled to
    _appeal to the sword to maintain yourselves at home_. It may not
    come in your day; but your children's children will be covered
    with the blood of domestic factions, and will see _a plundering
    mob contending for power and conquest_."--_Mr. Pickens, of South
    Carolina, in Congress, 21st Jan., 1836._

So the way to prevent _plundering_ mobs, is to enslave the poor! We
shall see presently, how far this expedient has been successful in
preventing _murdering_ mobs.

    "In the very nature of things there must be classes of persons
    to discharge all the different offices of society, from the
    highest to the lowest. Some of these offices are regarded as
    _degrading_, although they must and will be performed. Hence
    those manifest forms of dependent servitude which produce a
    sense of superiority in the masters or employers, and of
    inferiority on the part of the servants. Where these offices are
    performed by _members of the political community_, a DANGEROUS
    ELEMENT is obviously introduced into the body politic. Hence the
    alarming tendency to violate the rights of property by agrarian
    legislation, which is beginning to be manifest in the older
    States, where UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE _prevails without_ DOMESTIC

    "In a word, the institution of domestic slavery supersedes the
    M'Duffie's Message to the South Carolina Legislature, 1836._

    "We regard SLAVERY _as the most safe and stable basis for free
    institutions in the world_. It is impossible with us, that the
    conflict can take place between labor and capital, which makes
    it so difficult to establish and maintain free institutions in
    all wealthy and highly civilized nations where such institutions
    do not exist. Every plantation is a little community with the
    master at its head, who concentrates in himself the united
    interests of capital and labor, _of which he is the common
    representative_."--(Mr. Calhoun, of South Carolina, in the U. S.
    Senate, Jan. 10th, 1840.)

    "We of the South have cause now, and shall soon have greater, to
    congratulate ourselves on the existence of a population among
    us, which excludes the POPULACE which in effect rules some of
    our Northern neighbors, and is rapidly gaining strength wherever
    slavery does not exist--a populace made up of the dregs of
    Europe, and the most worthless portion of the native
    population."--(_Richmond Whig_, 1837.)

    "Would you do a benefit to the horse or the ox by giving him a
    cultivated understanding, a fine feeling? So far as the MERE
    LABORER has the pride, the knowledge, or the aspiration of a
    freeman, he is unfitted for his situation. If there are sordid,
    servile, _laborious_ offices to be performed, is it not better
    that there should be sordid, servile, laborious beings to
    perform them?

    "Odium has been cast upon our legislation, on account of its
    forbidding the elements of education being communicated to
    slaves. But in truth what injury is done them by this? _He who
    works during the day with his hands_, does not read in the
    intervals of leisure for his amusement, or the improvement of
    his mind, or the exception is so very rare as scarcely to need
    the being provided for."--(Chancellor Harper of South
    Carolina.--_Southern Literary Messenger_.)

This same gentleman delivered an oration on the 4th of July, 1840,
reviewing the principles of the two great political parties, and
although he supported Mr. Van Buren's administration, in consideration
of its devotion to the slave interest, he frankly inquires:--

    "Is there anything in the principles and opinions of the great
    DEMOCRATIC RABBLE, as it has been justly called, which should
    induce _us_ to identify ourselves with that? Here you may find
    every possible grade and hue of opinion which has ever existed
    in the country. Here you may find loafer, and loco foco, and
    agrarian, and all the rabble of the city of New York, the most
    corrupt and depraved of rabbles, and which controls, in a great
    degree, the city itself, and through that, as being the
    commercial metropolis, exercises much influence over the State
    at large.

    "What are the essential principles of democracy as distinguished
    from republicanism? The first consists in the dogma, so
    portentous to us, of the natural equality and unalienable right
    to liberty of every human being. Our allies (!) no doubt, are
    willing at _present_ to modify the doctrine in _our favor_. But
    the spirit of democracy at large makes no such exceptions, nor
    will these (our allies, the Northern democrats) continue to make
    it, longer than necessity or _interest_ may require. The second
    consists in the doctrine of the divine right of majorities; a
    doctrine not less false, and slavish, and absurd, than the
    ancient doctrine of the divine right of kings."

Mr. Robert Wickliffe, of Kentucky, in a speech published in the
_Louisville Advertiser_, in opposition to those who were adverse to the
importation of slaves from the States, thus discourseth:

    "Gentlemen wanted to drive out the black population, that they
    may obtain WHITE NEGROES in their place. WHITE NEGROES have this
    advantage over black negroes, they can be converted into voters;
    and the men who live upon the sweat of their brow, and pay them
    but a dependent and scanty subsistence, can, if able to keep ten
    thousand of them in employment, come up to the polls and change
    the destiny of the country.

    "How improved will be our condition when we have such white
    negroes as perform the servile labors of Europe, of Old England,
    and he would add now of _New England_; when our body servants
    and our cart drivers and our street sweepers are _white negroes_
    instead of black. Where will be the independence, the proud
    spirit, and the chivalry of Kentuckians then?"

Had the gentleman looked across the river, he might have found an answer
to his question, in the wealth, power, intelligence and happiness of

In reading the foregoing extracts, it is amusing to observe how adroitly
the slaveholders avoid all recognition of any other classes among them
than masters and slaves. Who would suspect from their language, that
they were themselves a small minority of the white inhabitants, and that
their own "white negroes" could, if united and so disposed, outvote them
at the polls? It is worthy of remark that in their denunciations of the
_populace_, the _rabble_, _those who work with their hands_, they refer
not to complexion, but to condition; not to slaves, but to the poor and
laborious of their own color. It is these haughty aristocrats who find
in Northern democrats "allies," who in Congress and out of it are
zealous in obeying their mandates, and who may justly be termed their
"white negroes."

Slavery, although considered by Mr. Calhoun "the most stable basis of
free institutions in the world," has, as we shall presently show you, in
fact, led to grosser outrages in the social compact, to more alarming
violations of constitutional liberty, to more bold and reckless assaults
upon "free institutions," than have ever been even attempted by the
much-dreaded agrarianism of the North.

                         V. STATE OF RELIGION.

The deplorable ignorance and want of industry at the South, together
with the disrepute in which honest industry is held, cannot but
exercise, in connection with other causes, a most unhappy influence on
the morals of the inhabitants. You have among you between two and three
millions of slaves, who are kept by law in brutal ignorance, and who,
with few exceptions, are virtually heathens.[8]

    [8] "From long continued and close observation, we believe that
        their (the slaves') moral and religious condition is such
        that they may justly be considered the HEATHEN of this
        Christian country, and will bear comparison with heathen in
        any country in the world. The negroes are destitute of the
        Gospel, and ever will be under the present state of
        things."--_Report published by the Synod of South Carolina
        and Georgia, Dec. 3, 1833._

You have also among you more than 200,000 free negroes, thus described
by Mr. Clay:--"Contaminated themselves, they extend their vices to all
around them."[9]

    [9] _Speech before the American Colonization Society._

If evil communications corrupt good manners, the intimate intercourse of
the whites with these people must be depraving: nor can the exercise of
despotic power by the masters, their wives and children be otherwise
than unfavorable to the benevolent affections.

It is with pain we are compelled to add, that the conduct and avowed
sentiments of the Southern clergy in relation to Slavery, necessarily
exert an unhappy influence. Most of the clergy are themselves
slaveholders, and are thus personally interested in the system, and are
consequently bold and active in justifying it from Scripture,
representing it as an institution enjoying the divine sanction. An
English author, in reference to these efforts of your clergy, forcibly
remarks: "Whatever may have been the unutterable wickedness of slavery
in the West Indies, _there_ it never was baptized in the Redeemer's
hallowed name, and its corruptions were not concealed in the garb of
religion. That acmé of piratical turpitude was reserved for the
professed disciples of Jesus in America." And well has John Quincy Adams
said, "The spirit of slavery has acquired not only an overruling
ascendency, but it has become at once intolerant, proscriptive, and
sophistical. It has crept into the philosophical chairs of the schools.
Its cloven hoof has ascended the pulpits of the churches--professors of
colleges teach it as a lesson of morals--ministers of the Gospel seek
and profess to find sanctions for it in the Word of God."

Your ministers live in the midst of slavery, and they _know_ that the
system on which they bestow their benedictions, is, in the language of
Wilberforce, "a system of the grossest injustice, of the most heathenish
irreligion and immorality; of the most unprecedented degradation and
unrelenting cruelty." Surely, we have reason to fear that the
denunciation of Scripture against false prophets of old, will be
accomplished against the Southern clergy, "Because they ministered unto
them before their idols, and caused the House of Israel to fall into
iniquity, therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the
Lord God, and they shall bear their iniquity."--_Ezek_. 44: 12.

Under such ministrations it cannot be expected that Christian zeal and
benevolence will take deep root and bear very abundant fruit. This is a
subject on which few statistics can be obtained. We have no means of
ascertaining the number of churches and ministers throughout the United
States of the various denominations. Some opinion, however, may be
formed of the religious character of a people, by their efforts for the
moral improvement of the community. In the United States there are
numerous voluntary associations for religious and benevolent purposes,
receiving large contributions and exercising a wide moral influence.
Now, of all the large benevolent societies professing to promote the
welfare of the whole country, and asking and receiving contributions
from all parts of it, we recollect but one that had its origin in the
slave region, and the business of which is transacted in it, and that is
the AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY. Of the real object and practical
tendency of this Society it is unnecessary to speak--you understand

In the 10th Report of the American Sunday School Union [p. 50] is a
table showing the number of Sunday School scholars in each State for the
year 1834. From this table we learn that

    There were in the free States       504,835 scholars.
      "         "     slave  "           82,532    "
    The single State of New York had    161,768    "

about twice as many as in the thirteen slave States!

And is it possible that the literary and religious destitution you are
suffering, together with the vicious habits of your colored population,
should have no effect on the moral character of the whites?

We entreat your patient and dispassionate attention to the remarks and
facts we are about to submit to you on the next subject of inquiry.

                        VI. STATE OF MORALS.

Christianity, by controlling the malignant passions of our nature, and
exciting its benevolent affections, gives a sacredness to the rights of
others, and especially does it guard human life. But where her blessed
influence is withdrawn, or greatly impaired, the passions resume their
sway, and violence and cruelty become the characteristics of every
community in which the civil authority is too feeble to afford

No society is free from vices and crime, and we well know that human
depravity springs from another source than slavery. It will not,
however, be denied that circumstances and institutions may check those
evil propensities to which we are all prone; and it will, we presume, be
admitted that in forming an opinion of the moral condition and
advancement of any community, we are to be guided in our judgment, not
by insulated facts, but by the _tone of public opinion_. Atrocities
occur in the best regulated and most virtuous States, but in such they
excite indignation and are visited with punishment; while in vicious
communities they are treated with levity and impunity.

In a country where suffrage is universal, the representatives will but
reflect the general character of their constituents. If we are permitted
to apply this rule in testing the moral condition of the South, the
result will not be favorable.

In noticing the public conduct of public men, we are not sensible of
violating any principle of courtesy or delicacy; we touch not their
private character or their private acts; we refer to their language and
sentiments, merely as one indication of the standard of morals among
their constituents, not as conclusive proof apart from other evidence.

On the 15th February, 1837, R. M. Whitney was arraigned before the House
of Representatives for contempt in refusing to attend when required
before a Committee. His apology was that he was afraid of his life, and
he called, as a witness in his behalf, one of the Committee, Mr.
Fairfield, since Governor of the State of Maine. It appeared that in the
Committee, Mr. Peyton of Virginia had put some interrogatory to Whitney,
who had returned a written answer which was deemed offensive. On this,
as Mr. Fairfield testified, Peyton addressed the Chairman in these
terms, "Mr. Chairman, I wish you to inform this witness, that he is not
to insult me in his answers: if he does, God damn him! I will take his
life on the spot!" Whitney rose and said he claimed the protection of
the Committee, on which Peyton exclaimed, "God damn you, you shan't
speak, you shan't say one word while you are in this room, if you do I
will put you to death!" Soon after, Peyton observing that Whitney was
looking at him, cried out, "Damn him, his eyes are on me--God damn him,
he is looking at me--he shan't do it--damn him, he shan't look at me!"

The newspaper reports of the proceedings of Congress, a few years since,
informed us that Mr. Dawson, a member from Louisiana, went up to Mr.
Arnold, another member, and said to him, "If you attempt to speak, or
rise from your seat, sir, by God I'll cut your throat!"

In a debate on the Florida war, Mr. Cooper having taken offence at Mr.
Giddings of Ohio, for some remarks relative to slavery, said in his
reply, "If the gentleman from Ohio will come among my constituents and
promulgate his doctrines there, he will find that Lynch law will be
inflicted, and that the gentleman will reach an elevation which he
little dreams of."

In the session of 1841, Mr. Payne, of Alabama, in debate, alluding to
the abolitionists, among whom he insisted the Postmaster-General ought
to be included, declared that he would proscribe all abolitionists, he
"would put the brand of Cain upon them--yes, the mark of HELL, and if
they came to the South he would HANG THEM LIKE DOGS!"

Mr. Hammond, of South Carolina, at an earlier period thus expressed
himself in the House: "I warn the abolitionists, ignorant, infatuated
barbarians as they are, that if chance shall throw any of them into our
hands, they may expect a FELON'S DEATH!"

In 1848, Mr. Hale, a Senator from New Hampshire, introduced a bill for
the protection of property in the District of Columbia, attempts having
been made to destroy an anti-Slavery press. Mr. Foote, a Senator from
Mississippi, thus expressed himself in reply: "I invite him (Mr. H.) to
the State of Mississippi, and will tell him before-hand, in all honesty,
that he could not go ten miles into the interior, before he would grace
one of the tallest trees of the forest, with a rope around his neck,
with the approbation of every virtuous and patriotic citizen, and that,

And now, fellow-citizens, do these men, with all their profanity and
vulgarity, breathing out threatenings and slaughter, represent the
feelings, and manners, and morals of the slaveholding community? We have
seen no evidence that they have lost a particle of popular favor in
consequence of their ferocious violence. Alas! their language has been
re-echoed again and again by public meetings in the slave States; and we
proceed to lay before you overwhelming proof that in the expression of
their murderous feelings towards the abolitionists, they have faithfully
represented the sentiments of their constituents.

                     VII. DISREGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE.

We have already seen that one of the blessings which the slaveholders
attribute to their favorite institution, is exemption from popular
tumults, and from encroachments by the democracy upon the rights of
property. Their argument is, that political power in the hands of the
poor and laboring classes is always attended with danger, and that this
danger is averted when these classes are kept in bondage. With these
gentlemen, life and liberty seem to be accounted as the small dust of
the balance, when weighed against slavery and plantations; hence, to
preserve the latter they are ever ready to sacrifice the former, in
utter defiance of laws and constitutions.

We have already noticed the murderous proposition in relation to
abolitionists, made by Governor M'Duffie to the South Carolina
Legislature in 1835: "It is my deliberate opinion that the _laws_ of
every community should punish this species of interference, by DEATH
without benefit of clergy." In an address to a legislative assembly,
Governor M'Duffie refrained from the indecency of recommending _illegal_
murder; but we will soon find that the public sentiment of the South by
no means requires that abolitionists shall be put to death with legal
formalities; but on the contrary, the slaveholders are ready, in the
language of Mr. Payne, to "hang them like dogs."

We hazard little in the assertion, that in no civilized Christian
community on earth is human life less protected by law, or more
frequently taken with impunity, than in the slave States of the Federal
Union. We wish to impress upon you the danger and corruption to which
you and your children are exposed from the institution, which, as we
have shown you, exists by your sufferance. But you have been taught to
respect this institution; and hence it becomes necessary to enter into
details, however painful, and to present you with authorities which you
cannot reject. What we have just said of the insecurity of human life,
will probably be deemed by you and others as abolition slander. Listen,
then, to slaveholders themselves.

"We long to see the day," said the Governor of Kentucky in his message
to the Legislature, 1837, "when the law will assert its majesty, and
stop the wanton destruction of life which almost _daily_ occurs within
the jurisdiction of this commonwealth. MEN SLAUGHTER EACH OTHER WITH
ALMOST PERFECT IMPUNITY. A species of common law has grown up in
Kentucky, which, were it written down, would, in all civilized
countries, cause her to be re-christened, in derision, THE LAND OF

The present Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Kentucky[10] a few years
since, published an article on the murders in that State. He states that
some with whom he had conversed, estimated them at 80 per annum; but
that he had rated them at about 30; and that he had ascertained that for
the last three years, there had not been "an instance of capital
punishment in any _white_ offender." "It is believed," says he, "there
are more homicides on an average of two years in _any_ of our more
populous _counties_, than in the whole of several of our _States_ of
equal, or nearly equal, population to Kentucky."

    [10] It is believed this gentleman is _not_ a slaveholder.

Governor McVay, of Alabama, in his message to the Legislature, November
15, 1837, thus speaks, "We hear of homicides in different parts of the
State continually, and yet have few convictions and still fewer
executions! Why do we hear of stabbings and shootings almost _daily_ in
some part or other of our State?"

    "DEATH BY VIOLENCE.--The moral atmosphere in our State appears
    to be in a deleterious and sanguinary condition. Almost every
    exchange paper which reaches us, contains some inhuman and
    revolting case of murder, or death by violence. _Not less than_
    FIFTEEN deaths by violence have occurred, to our certain
    knowledge, within the past three months."--_Grand Gulf Miss.
    Advertiser, 27th June, 1837._

    CONTEMPT OF HUMAN LIFE.--In view of the crimes which are daily
    committed, we are led to inquire whether it is owing to the
    inefficiency of our laws, or to the manner in which these laws
    are administered, that this FRIGHTFUL DELUGE OF HUMAN BLOOD
    Orleans Bee, 23d May, 1838._

At the opening of the Criminal Court in New Orleans, November 4th, 1837,
Judge Lansuque delivered an address, in which, speaking of the
prevalence of violence, he used the following language:

    "As a Louisiana parent, I reflect with terror, that our beloved
    children, reared to become one day honorable and useful
    citizens, may be the victims of these votaries of vice and
    licentiousness. Without some powerful and certain remedy, our

While the slaveholders are terrified at the idea of the "great
democratic rabble," and rejoice in human bondage as superseding the
necessity of an "order of nobility, and all the appendages of a
hereditary government," they have established a reign of terror, as
insurrectionary and as sanguinary in principle, as that created by the
sans culottes of the French revolution. We indulge in no idle
declamation, but speak the words of truth and soberness.

A public meeting, convened in the _church_!! in the town of Clinton,
Mississippi, 5th September, 1835--

    Resolved, "That it is our decided opinion, that any individual
    who dares to circulate, with a view to effectuate the designs of
    the abolitionists, any of the incendiary tracts or newspapers
    now in the course of transmission to this country, is justly
    worthy, in the sight of God and man, of immediate death; and we
    doubt not that such would be the punishment of any such
    offender, in any part of the State of Mississippi where he may
    be found."

It would be tedious to copy the numerous resolutions of similar import,
passed by public meetings in almost every slave State. You well know
that the promoters of those lawless and sanguinary proceedings, did not
belong to the "rabble"--they were not "mean whites," but rich,
influential slaveholders. A meeting was held in 1835 at Williamsburgh,
Virginia, which was harangued by no less a personage than JOHN TYLER,
once Governor of the State, and since _President of the United States_:
under this gentleman's auspices, and after his address, the meeting

    "That we regard the printing and circulating within our limits,
    of incendiary publications, tending to excite our slaves to
    insurrection and rebellion, as treasonable acts of the most
    alarming character, and that when we detect offenders in the
    act, we will inflict upon them condign punishment, without
    resorting to any other tribunal."

The profligacy of this resolution needs no comment. Mr. Tyler well knew
that the laws of Virginia, and every other State were abundantly
sufficient to punish crime: but he and his fellow lynchers wished to
deter the people from receiving and reading anything adverse to slavery;
and hence, with their usual audacity, they determined to usurp the
prerogative of courts and juries, and throw down all the bulwarks which
the law has erected for the protection of innocence.

Newspapers are regarded as the mirrors of public opinion. Let us see
what opinions are reflected in those of the South.

    The _Charleston Courier_, 11th August, 1835, declared that "the
    _gallows and the stake_" awaited the abolitionists who should
    dare to "appear in person among us."

    "The cry of the whole South should be death, instant death to
    the abolitionist, wherever he is caught."--_Augusta (Geo.)

    "Let us declare through the public journals of our country, that
    the question of slavery is not and shall not be open to
    discussion; that the system is too deep-rooted among us, and
    must remain for ever; that the very moment any private
    individual attempts to lecture us upon its evils and immorality,
    and the necessity of putting means in operation to secure us
    from them, in the same moment his tongue shall be cut out and
    cast upon the dunghill."--_Columbia (S.C.) Telescope._

This, it will be noticed, is a threat addressed, not to the Northern
abolitionists, but to _you_, fellow-citizens, to the great majority of
the white inhabitants of the South; and _you_ are warned not to express
_an opinion_ offensive to your aristocracy.

    "AWFUL BUT JUST PUNISHMENT.--We learn, by the arrival of the
    steamboat Kentucky last evening from Richmond, that Robinson,
    the Englishman mentioned in the _Beacon_ of Saturday, as being
    in the vicinity of Lynchburg, was taken about fifteen miles from
    that town, and HANGED on the spot, for exciting the slaves to
    insurrection."--_Norfolk (Va.) Beacon, 10th August, 1835._

    "We can assure the Bostonians, one and all, who have embarked in
    the nefarious scheme of abolishing slavery at the South, that
    lashes will hereafter be spared the backs of their emissaries.
    Let them send out their men to Louisiana; they will never return
    to tell their sufferings, but they shall expiate the crime of
    interfering with our domestic institutions, by being BURNED AT
    THE STAKE."--_New-Orleans True American._

    "Abolition editors in slave States will not dare to avow their
    opinions. It would be instant DEATH to them."--_Missouri Argus._

Here, again, is a threat directed against any of _you_, who may happen
to have the command of types and printer's ink.

Now, we ask what must be the state of society, where the public journals
thus justify and stimulate the public thirst for blood? The very idea of
_trial_ is scouted, and the mob, or rather the slaveholders themselves,
are acknowledged to be the arbiters of life and death. The question we
put to you as to the _state of society_, has been already answered by
the official declarations of the Governors of Kentucky and Alabama, and
of Judge Lansuque, of New Orleans; as well as by the extracts we have
given you from some of the southern journals, relative to the frequency
of murders among them. We could farther answer it, by filling sheets
with accounts of fearful atrocities. But we purposely refrain from
referring to assassinations and private crimes; for such, as already
remarked, occur in a greater or less degree in every community, and do
not necessarily form a test of the standard of morals. But we ask your
attention to a test which cannot be questioned. We will present for your
consideration a series of atrocities, perpetrated, not by individuals in
secret, but in open day by the _slaveholding populace_.

We have seen that two of the Southern papers we have quoted, threaten
abolitionists with THE STAKE. This awful and horrible punishment has
been banished, by the progress of civilization, from the whole of
Christendom, with the single exception of the American Slave States. It
is scarcely necessary to say, that even in them, it is unknown to the
laws, although familiar to the people. It is also deserving of remark,
that the two journals which have made this atrocious threat were
published, not among the rude borderers of our frontier settlements, but
in the populous cities of Charleston and New-Orleans, the very centres
of Southern refinement.

    "TUSCALOOSA (Alab.) June 20, 1827. The negro [one who had killed
    a Mr. M^cNeilly was taken before a Justice of the Peace, who
    _waived his authority_, perhaps through fear, as a crowd of
    persons had collected, to the number of seventy or eighty, near
    Mr. People's [the Justice] house. He acted as President of the
    mob, and put the vote, when it was decided that he should be
    immediately executed by being _burned to death_. The sable
    culprit was led to a tree and tied to it, and a large quantity
    of pine knots collected and placed around him, and the fatal
    torch applied to the pile, even against the remonstrances of
    several gentlemen who were present, and the miserable being was
    in a short time burned to ashes. This is the _second_ negro who
    has been _thus_ put to death, without judge or jury in this

On the 28th of April, 1836, a free negro was arrested in St. Louis
(Missouri) and committed to jail on a charge of murder. A mob assembled
and demanded him of the jailor, who surrendered him. The negro was then
chained to a tree _a short distance from the Court House_, and burned to

    "After the flames had surrounded their prey, and when his
    clothes were in a blaze all over him, his eyes burnt out of his
    head, and his mouth seemingly parched to a cinder, some one in
    the _crowd_, more compassionate than the rest, proposed to put
    an end to his misery by shooting him, when it was replied that
    it would be of no use, since he was already out of his pain.
    'No,' said the wretch, 'I am not, I am suffering as much as
    ever; shoot me, shoot me.' 'No, no,' said one of the fiends who
    was standing about the sacrifice they were roasting, 'he shall
    not be shot, I would sooner slacken the fire, if that would
    increase his misery;' and the man who said this was, we
    understand, an _officer of justice_."--_Alton Telegraph._

    "We have been informed that the slave William, who murdered his
    master (Huskey) some weeks since, was taken by a party a few
    days since _from the Sheriff_ of Hot Spring, and _burned alive_!
    yes, tied up to the limb of a tree and a fire built under him,
    and consumed in a slow lingering torture."--_Arkansas Gazette,
    Oct._ 29. 1836.

The _Natchez Free Trader, 16th June, 1842_, gives a horrible account of
the execution of the negro, Joseph, on the 5th of that month for murder.

    "The body," says that paper, "was taken and chained to a tree
    immediately on the bank of the Mississippi, on what is called
    Union Point. The torches were lighted and placed in the pile. He
    watched unmoved the curling flame as it grew, until it began to
    entwine itself around and feed upon his body; then he sent forth
    cries of agony painful to the ear, begging some one to blow his
    brains out; at the same time surging with almost superhuman
    strength, until the staple with which the chain was fastened to
    the tree, not being well secured, drew out, and he leaped from
    the burning pile. At that moment the sharp ring of several
    rifles was heard, and the body of the negro fell a corpse to the
    ground. He was picked up by two or three, and again thrown into
    the fire and consumed."

    "ANOTHER NEGRO BURNED.--We learn from the clerk of the
    Highlander that, while wooding a short distance below the mouth
    of Red river, they were _invited to stop a short time and see
    another negro burned_."--_N. O. Bulletin._

Thus we see that burning negroes alive is treated as a spectacle, and
strangers are invited to witness it. The victim of this exhibition was
the negro Enoch, said to have been an accomplice of Joseph, and was
burned a few days after the other.

We have thus given you no less than _six_ instances of human beings
publicly burned alive in four slave States, and in each case with entire
impunity to the miscreants engaged in the horrible murder. But these
were cases which _happened_ to be reported in the newspapers, and with
which we _happened_ to become acquainted. There is reason to believe
that these executions are not of rare occurrence, and that many of them,
either through indifference or policy, are not noticed in the Southern

A recent traveller remarks, "Just before I reached Mobile, two men were
_burned alive_ there in a slow fire in the open air, in the presence of
the _gentlemen_ of the city. No word was breathed of the transaction in
the newspapers."--_Martineau's Society in America_, vol. I., p. 373.

But the murderous spirit deplored by the Governors of Kentucky and
Alabama, and the "frightful deluge of human blood" complained of by the
New Orleans editor, had no reference to the murder of _negroes_. Men who
can enjoy the sight of negroes writhing in flames, and are permitted by
the civil authorities to indulge in such exhibitions, will not be very
scrupulous in taking the lives of each other. You well know how
incessantly the work of human slaughter is going on among you: and no
reader of your public journals can be ignorant of the frequent
occurrence of your deadly street fights. But, for the reason already
given, we meddle not with these. We charge the slaveholding community,
as such, with _sanctioning_ murder, and protecting the perpetrators, and
setting the laws at defiance. This we know is a grievous charge, and
most grievous the proof of it. But mistake not our meaning. God forbid
we should deny that many of the community to which we refer, utterly
abhor the atrocities we are about to detail. We speak of the murderous
feelings of the slaveholding community, just as we speak of the
politics, the manners, and the morals of any other community, freely
acknowledging that there are numerous and honorable exceptions. For the
general truth of our assertion, we appeal to the authorities and the
facts we have already laid before you, and to those we are about to

You have already seen that the pro-slavery press has recommended the
murder of such northern abolitionists as may be caught in the South; we
now ask your attention to the efforts made by the slaveholders to get
prominent abolitionists into their power.

In 1831, a citizen of Massachusetts established a newspaper at Boston,
called the Liberator, and devoted to the cause of negro emancipation.
The undertaking was perfectly legal, and he himself, having never been
in Georgia, had of course violated none of her laws. The legislature,
however, forthwith passed a law, offering a bribe of $5000 to any person
who would arrest and bring to trial and conviction, in Georgia, the
editor and publisher of the Boston paper. This most atrocious law was
"approved" on the 26th Dec., 1831, by WILLIAM LUMPKIN, the Governor. The
object of the bribe could have been no other than the abduction and
murder of the conductor of the paper--his _trial_ and _conviction_ under
Georgia laws being a mere pretence: the Georgia courts have as much
jurisdiction over the Press in Paris as in Boston. A Lynch court was the
only one that could have taken cognizance of the offence, and its
proceedings would undoubtedly have been both summary and sanguinary.

The horrible example thus set by the Georgia Legislature was not without
its followers.

At a meeting of slaveholders at Sterling, Sept. 4, 1835, it was formally
recommended to the Governor to issue a proclamation, offering the $5000
appropriated by the Act of 1831, as a reward for the apprehension of
_either_ of _ten_ persons named in the resolution, citizens of New York
and Massachusetts, and one a subject of Great Britain; not one of whom
it was even pretended had ever set his foot on the soil of Georgia.

The _Milledgeville [Ga.] Federal Union_, of Feb. 1, 1836, contained an
offer of $10,000 for kidnapping A. A. Phelps, a clergyman residing in
the city of New York.

The Committee of Vigilance of the Parish of East Feliciana, offered in
the Louisiana Journal of 15th Oct., 1835, $50,000 to any person who
would deliver _into their hands_ Arthur Tappan, a New York merchant.

At a public meeting of the citizens of Mount Meigs, Alabama, 13th
August, 1836, the Honorable [!] Bedford Ginress in the chair, a reward
of $50,000 was offered for the apprehension of Arthur Tappan, or Le Roy
Sunderland, a clergyman of the Methodist Church residing in New York.

Let us now witness the practical operation of that murderous spirit
which dictated the foregoing villainous bribes. We have already seen the
conduct of the slave-holding community to _negro_ offenders; we are now
to notice its tender mercies to men of its own color.

In 1835, there was a real or affected apprehension of a servile
insurrection in the State of Mississippi. The slaveholders, as usual on
such occasions, were exceedingly frightened, and were exceedingly cruel.
A pamphlet was afterwards published, entitled "_Proceedings of the
Citizens of Madison County, Miss., at Livingston, in July, 1835, in
relation to the trial and punishment of several individuals implicated
in a contemplated insurrection in this State.--Prepared by Thomas
Shuckelford, Esquire. Printed at Jackson, Miss._" This pamphlet, then,
is the _Southern_ account of the affair; and while it is more minute in
its details than the narratives published in the newspapers at the time,
we are not aware that it contradicts them. It may be regarded as a sort
of semi-official report put forth by the slaveholders, and published
under their implied sanction. It appears, from this account, that in
consequence of "rumors" that the slaves meditated an insurrection--that
a colored girl had been heard to say that "she was tired of waiting on
the white folks--wanted to be her own mistress for the balance of her
days, and clean up her own house, &c.," a meeting was held at which
resolutions were signed, organizing a committee, and authorizing them
"_to bring before them any person or persons, either white or black, and
try in a summary manner any person brought before them, with power to
hang or whip, being always governed by the laws of the land, so far only
as they shall be applicable to the case in question; otherwise to act as
in their discretion shall seem best for the benefit of the country and
the protection of its citizens_."

This was certainly a most novel mode of erecting and commissioning a
Court of judicature, with the power of life and death, expressly
authorized to act independently of "the laws of the land."

The Constitution of the State of Mississippi, which no doubt many of the
honorable Judges of the Court had on other occasions taken an oath to
support, contains the following clause:--"No person shall be accused,
arrested or detained, except in cases ascertained by law, and according
to the forms which the same has prescribed; and no person shall be
punished, but in virtue of a law established and promulgated prior to
the offence, and legally applied."

_Previous_ to the organization of this Court, FIVE slaves had already
been HUNG by the people. The Court, or rather, as it was modestly called
by the meeting who erected it, "the committee," proceeded to try Dr.
Joshua Cotton, of New England. It was proved to the satisfaction of the
committee that he had been detected in many low tricks--that he was
deficient in feeling and affection for his second wife--that he had
traded with negroes--that he had asked a negro boy whether the slaves
were whipped much, how he would like to be free? &c. It is _stated_ that
Cotton made a confession that he had been aiming to bring about a
conspiracy. The committee condemned him TO BE HANGED IN AN HOUR AFTER

William Saunders, a native of Tennessee, was next tried. He was
convicted "of being often out at night, and giving no satisfactory
explanation for so doing"--of equivocal conduct--of being intimate with
Cotton, &c. Whereupon, by a unanimous vote, he was found guilty and
sentenced to be HUNG. He was executed with Cotton on the 4th of July.

Albe Dean, of Connecticut, was next tried. He was convicted of being a
lazy, indolent man, having very little _pretensions_ to honesty--of
"pretending to make a living by constructing washing machines"--of
"often coming to the owners of runaways, to intercede with the masters
to save them from a whipping." He was sentenced to be HUNG, and was

A. L. Donavan, of Kentucky, was then put on his trial. He was suspected
of having traded with the negroes--of being found in their cabins, and
enjoying himself in their Society. It was proved that "at one time he
actually undertook to release a negro who was tied, which negro
afterwards implicated him," and that he once told an overseer "it was
cruel work to be whipping the poor negroes as he was obliged to do." The
committee were satisfied, from the evidence before them, that Donavan
was an emissary of those deluded fanatics of the North, the
abolitionists. He was condemned to be HUNG, and suffered accordingly.

Ruel Blake was next tried, condemned and HUNG. "He protested his
innocence to the last, and said his life was sworn away."

Here we have a record of no less than TEN men, five black and five
white, probably all innocent of the crime alleged against them,
deliberately and publicly put to death by the slaveholders, without the
shadow of legal authority.

The Maysville, Ken. Gazette, in announcing Donavan's murder, says, "he
formerly belonged to Maysville, and was a much respected citizen."

A letter from Donavan to his wife, written just before his execution,
and published in the Maysville paper, says, "I am doomed to die
to-morrow at 12 o'clock, on a charge of having been concerned in a negro
insurrection, in this State, among many other whites. We are not tried
by a regular jury, but by a committee of PLANTERS appointed for the
purpose, who have not time to wait on a person for evidence.... Now I
must close by saying, before my Maker and Judge, that I go into his
presence as innocent of this charge as when I was born.... I must bid
you a final farewell, hoping that the God of the widow and the
fatherless will give you grace to bear this most awful sentence."

And now, did these butcheries by the Mississippi PLANTERS excite the
indignation of the slaveholding communities? Receive the answer from an
editor of the Ancient Dominion, replying to the comments of a Northern
newspaper. "The Journal may depend upon it that the Cottons and the
Saunders, men confessing themselves guilty of inciting and plotting
insurrection, will be HANGED UP wherever caught, and that _without the
formality of a legal trial_. Northern or Southern, such will be their
inevitable doom. For our part, WE APPLAUD the transaction, and none in
our opinion can condemn it, who have not a secret sympathy with the
Garrison sect. If Northern sympathy and effort are to be cooled and
extinguished by such cases, it proves but this, that the South ought to
feel little confidence in the professions it receives from that
quarter."--_Richmond Whig._

About the time of the massacre in Clinton County, another awful tragedy
was performed at Vicksburg in the same State. FIVE men, said to be
_gamblers_, were HANGED by the mob on the 5th July, in open day.

The _Louisiana Advertiser_, of 13th July, says, "These unfortunate men
claimed to the last, the privilege of American citizens, the _trial by
Jury_, and professed themselves willing to submit to anything their
country would legally inflict upon them: but we are sorry to say, their
petition was in vain. The black musicians were ordered to strike up, and
the voices of the supplicants were drowned by the fife and drum. _Mr.
Riddle, the Cashier of the Planters' Bank_, ordered them to play Yankee
Doodle. The unhappy sufferers frequently implored a drink of water, _but
they were refused_."

The sympathy of the Louisiana editor, so different from his brother of
Richmond, was probably owing to the fact, that the murdered men were
accused of being gamblers, and not abolitionists.

When we said these five men were hung by the _mob_, we did not mean what
Chancellor Harper calls "the democratic rabble." It seems the Cashier of
a Bank, a man to whom the slaveholders entrust the custody of their
money, officiated on the occasion as Master of Ceremonies.

A few days after the murders at Vicksburg, a negro named Vincent was
sentenced by a Lynch club at Clinton, Miss., to receive 300 lashes, for
an alleged participation in an intended insurrection. We copy from the
_Clinton Gazette_.

    "On Wednesday evening Vincent was carried out to receive his
    stripes, but the ASSEMBLED MULTITUDE were in favor of _hanging_
    him. A vote was accordingly _fairly_ taken, and the hanging
    party had it by an overwhelming majority, as the politicians
    say. He was remanded to _prison_. On the day of execution a
    _still larger crowd was assembled_, and fearing that the public
    sentiment might have changed in regard to his fate, after
    everything favorable to the culprit was alleged which could be
    said, the vote was taken, and his _death was demanded by the
    people_. In pursuance of this sentiment, so unequivocally
    expressed, he was led to a black jack and suspended to one of

Thus, SIXTEEN human beings were deliberately and publicly murdered, by
assembled crowds, in different parts of the State of Mississippi, within
little more than one WEEK, in open defiance of the laws and Constitution
of the State.

And now we ask, what notice did the chief magistrate of Mississippi,
sworn to support her Constitution, sworn to execute her laws--what
notice, we ask, did he take of these horrible massacres? Why, at the
next session of the Legislature, Governor Lynch, addressing them in
reference to abolition, remarked, "Mississippi has given a _practical_
demonstration of feeling on this exciting subject, that may serve as an
impressive admonition to offenders; and however we may regret the
occasion, we are constrained to admit, that necessity will sometimes
prompt a summary mode of trial and punishment unknown to the law."

The iniquity and utter falsehood of this declaration, as applied to the
transactions alluded to, are palpable. If the victims were innocent, no
necessity required their murder. If guilty, no necessity required their
execution contrary to law. There was no difficulty in securing their
persons, and bringing them to trial.

                               * * * * *

In 1841, an _unsuccessful_ attempt was made in Kentucky to murder a man.
The assailants were arrested and lodged in jail for trial. Their fate is
thus related in a letter by an eye-witness, published in the Cincinnati

                                "_Williamstown, Ky., July 11, 1841._

    "The unfortunate men, Lyman Couch and Smith Maythe, were taken
    out of jail on Saturday about 12 o'clock, and taken to the
    ground where they committed the horrid deed on Utterback, and at
    4 o'clock were HUNG on the tree where Utterback lay when his
    throat was cut. The jail was opened by force. I suppose there
    were from FOUR TO SEVEN HUNDRED people engaged in it. Resistance
    was all in vain. There were three speeches made to the mob, but
    all in vain. They allowed the prisoners the privilege of clergy
    for about five hours, and then observed that they had made their
    peace with God, and they deserved to die. The mob was conducted
    with coolness and order, more so than I ever heard of on such
    occasions. But such a day was never witnessed in our little
    village, and I hope never will be again."

The fact that this atrocity was perpetrated in "our little village," and
by a rural population, affords an emphatic and horrible indication of
the state of morals in one of the oldest and best of our slave States.

Would that we could here close these fearful narratives; but another and
more recent instance of that ferocious lawlessness which slavery has
engendered, must still be added. The following facts are gathered from
the Norfolk (Va.) Beacon of 19th Nov., 1842.

George W. Lore was, in April, 1842, convicted in Alabama, on
circumstantial evidence, of the crime of murder. The Supreme Court
granted a new trial, remarking, as is stated in another paper, that the
testimony on which he was convicted was "unfit to be received by any
court of justice recognized among civilized nations." In the mean time,
Lore escaped from jail, and was afterwards arrested. He was seized by a
mob, who put it to vote, whether he should be surrendered to the civil
authority or be _hung_. Of 132 votes, 130 were for immediate death, and
he was accordingly HUNG at Spring Hill, Bourbon County, on the 4th

And now, fellow-citizens, what think you of Mr. Calhoun's "most safe and
stable basis for free institutions?" Do you number TRIAL BY JURY among
free institutions? You see on what basis it rests--the will of the
slaveholders. You see by what tenure you and your children hold your
lives. In New York, you are told by high Southern authority, "you may
find loafer, and loco-foco, and agrarian, and the most corrupt and
depraved of rabbles." But we ask you, where would your life be most
secure if charged with crime, amid the rabble of New York or that of
Clinton, Vicksburg, and Williamstown? We think we have fully proved our
assertion respecting the disregard of human life felt by the
slaveholding community; and of course their contempt for those legal
barriers which are erected for its protection. Let us now inquire more
particularly how far slavery is indeed a stable basis, on which free
institutions may securely rest.


Governor McDuffie, in his speech of 1834 to the South Carolina
Legislature, characterized the Federal Constitution as "that miserable
mockery of blurred, and obliterated, and tattered parchment." Judging
from their conduct, the slaveholders, while fully concurring with the
Governor in his contempt for the national parchment, have quite as
little respect for their own State Constitution and Laws.

The "tattered parchment" of which Mr. McDuffie speaks, declares that
"the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and
immunities of citizens of the several States." Art. IV. Sec. 2.
Notwithstanding this express provision, there are in almost every slave
State, if not in all, laws for seizing, imprisoning, and then selling as
slaves for life, citizens having black or yellow complexions, entering
within their borders. This is done under pretence that the individuals
are supposed to be fugitives from bondage. When circumstances forbid
such a supposition, other devices are adopted, for nullifying the
provision we have quoted. By a law of Louisiana, every free negro or
mulatto, arriving on board any vessel as a _mariner_ or passenger, shall
be immediately imprisoned till the departure of the vessel, when he is
to be compelled to depart in her. If such free negro or mulatto returns
to the State, he is to be imprisoned for FIVE years.

The jailor of Savannah some time since reported TEN STEWARDS as being in
his custody. These were free citizens of other States, deprived of their
liberty solely on account of the complexion their Maker had given them,
and in direct violation of the express language of the Federal
Constitution. If any free negro or mulatto enters the State of
Mississippi, for any cause however urgent, any white citizen may cause
him to be punished by the Sheriff with thirty-nine lashes, and if he
does not immediately thereafter leave the State, he is SOLD AS A SLAVE.

In Maryland, a free negro or mulatto, coming into the State, is fined
$20, and if he returns he is fined $500, and on default of payment, is
sold AS A SLAVE. Truly indeed have the slaveholders rendered the
Constitution a blurred, obliterated, and tattered parchment. But
whenever this same Constitution can, by the grossest perversion, be made
instrumental in upholding and perpetuating human bondage, then it
acquires, for the time, a marvellous sanctity in their eyes, and they
are seized with a holy indignation at the very suspicion of its

The readiness with which Southern Governors prefer the most false and
audacious claims, under color of Constitutional authority, exhibits a
state of society in which truth and honor are but little respected.

In 1833, seventeen slaves effected their escape from Virginia in a boat,
and finally reached New York. To recover their slaves _as such_, a
judicial investigation in New York would be necessary, and the various
claimants would be required to prove their property. A more convenient
mode presented itself. The Governor of Virginia made a requisition on
the Executive of New York for them as fugitive _felons_, and on this
requisition, a warrant was issued for their arrest and surrender. The
pretended felony was stealing the _boat_ in which they had escaped.

In 1839, a slave escaped from Virginia on board of a vessel bound to New
York. It was _suspected_, but without a particle of proof, that some of
the crew had favored his escape; and immediately the master made oath
that _three_ of the sailors, naming them, had feloniously STOLEN the
slave; and the Governor, well knowing there was no slave-market in New
York, and that no man could there be held in slavery, had the hardihood
to demand the surrender of the mariners, on the charge of grand larceny;
and, in his correspondence with the Governor of New York, declared the
slave was worth six or seven hundred dollars, and remarked that
_stealing_ was "recognized as a CRIME by all laws, human and divine."

In 1841, a female slave, belonging to a man named Flournoy, in Georgia,
was discovered on board a vessel about to sail for New York, and was
recovered by her master. It was afterwards supposed, from the woman's
story, that she had been induced by one of the passengers to attempt her
escape. Whereupon Flournoy made oath that John Greenman did feloniously
STEAL his slave. But the Governor of New York had already refused to
surrender citizens of his State, on a charge so palpably false and
absurd. It was therefore deemed necessary to trump up a very different
charge against the accused; and hence Flournoy made a second affidavit,
that John Greenman did _feloniously steal and take away three blankets,
two shawls, three frocks, one pair of earrings, and two finger-rings,
the property of deponent_. Armed with these affidavits, the Governor
demanded the surrender of Greenman under the Constitution. Not an
intimation was given by His Excellency, when he made the demand, of the
_real facts_ of the case, which, in a subsequent correspondence, he was
compelled to admit. It turned out that the woman, instead of being
stolen, went voluntarily, and no doubt joyfully, on board the vessel;
and that the wearing apparel, &c., were the clothes and ornaments worn
by her; nor was there a pretence that Greenman had ever touched them, or
ever had them in his possession.

In 1838, Rev. John B. Mahan, a Methodist preacher, residing in Ohio, was
reported to have given aid and shelter to fugitive slaves from Kentucky,
and forthwith the Grand Jury of Mason County, in that State, indicted
him, as being "late of the County of Mason," for aiding two slaves in
making their escape from said county. On the strength of this
indictment, Governor Clark, of Kentucky, issued his requisition on the
Governor of Ohio, wherein he stated that the said Mahan "_has fled from
justice, and is now going at large in the State of Ohio_;" and that by
virtue of the authority vested in him by the "Constitution and Laws of
the United States, he did demand the said John B. Mahan, as _a fugitive
from the justice of the laws of this State_." On this requisition Mahan
was seized, carried into Kentucky, put in irons, and kept in prison as a
felon for about ten weeks, when, after a trial which lasted six days, he
was acquitted by the jury. Now it was a matter of notoriety, and
_admitted_ by the prosecution, that Mahan had not been in Kentucky for
about _twenty years_!! Yet day after day was spent in endeavors to
procure the conviction of a man who had committed no offence against the
laws of the State, and whose person had been seized in consequence of a
gross fraud, and a palpable and acknowledged falsehood. But how happened
it that the slaveholders permitted their prey to escape? Fortunately for
Mahan, the Governor of Ohio, after surrendering him, discovered the
imposition that had been practised, and officially informed the Governor
of Kentucky, that he could not consent that a citizen of Ohio should be
taken to another State, and tried for an offence not committed within
her jurisdiction. The publication of this letter drew the attention of
the community to the infamous outrage that had been practised. If, after
this, Mahan had been Lynched, or even judicially punished, a controversy
would have arisen between the two States, which would necessarily have
given new strength and influence to the anti-slavery cause.

But perhaps the most insolent attempt yet made to pervert the Federal
Constitution to the support of slavery, was the expedient devised in
Alabama to muzzle the Northern press. An article appeared in a newspaper
published in New York, in 1835, which gave offence to certain planters
in that State; and forthwith a grand jury, _on their oaths_, indicted
the New York publisher, "late of the County of Tuscaloosa," for
endeavoring to excite insurrection among the slaves, by circulating a
seditious paper; and on this indictment the Governor had the impudence
to make a formal requisition for the surrender of the publisher, as a
_fugitive from justice_, although he had never breathed the air of

We have said that the slaveholders hold their _own_ laws and
Constitutions in the same contempt as those of the Federal Government,
whenever they conflict with the security and permanency of slavery. One
of the most inestimable of constitutional privileges is TRIAL BY JURY;
and this, as we have seen, is trampled under foot with impunity, at the
mandate of the slaveholders. Even JOHN TYLER, as it appears, is for
inflicting summary punishment on abolitionists, by a Lynch club,
"without resorting to any other tribunal."

We now proceed to inquire how far they respect the liberty of speech and
of the press.

                         IX. LIBERTY OF SPEECH.

The whole nation witnessed the late successful efforts of the
slaveholders in Congress, by their various gag resolutions, and through
the aid of recreant Northern politicians, to destroy all freedom of
debate adverse to "the peculiar institution." They were themselves ready
to dwell, in debate, on the charms of human bondage; but when a member
took the other side of the question, then, indeed, he was out of order,
the constitution was outraged, and the Union endangered. We all know the
violent threats which have been used, to intimidate the friends of human
rights from expressing their sentiments in the national legislature. "As
long," says Governor McDuffie to the South Carolina Legislature, "as
long as the halls of Congress shall be _open_ to the _discussion_ of
this question, we can have neither peace nor security." The Charleston
Mercury is, on this subject, very high authority; and in 1837 its editor
announced that "Public opinion in the South would now, we are sure,
justify an _immediate resort to_ FORCE _by the Southern delegation, even
on the_ FLOOR OF CONGRESS, were they forthwith to SEIZE AND DRAG FROM
THE HALL any man who dared to insult them, as that eccentric old
showman, John Quincy Adams has dared to do."

When so much malignity is manifested against the freedom of speech, in
the very sanctuary of American liberty, it is not to be supposed that it
will be tolerated in the house of bondage. We have already quoted a
Southern paper, which declares that the moment "any private individual
attempts to lecture us on the evils and immorality of slavery, that very
moment his tongue shall be cut out and cast upon the dunghill."

In Marion College, Missouri, there appeared some symptoms of
anti-slavery feeling among the students. A Lynch club assembled, and the
Rev. Dr. Ely, one of the professors, appeared before them, and denounced
abolition, and submitted a series of resolutions passed by the faculty,
and among them the following: "We do hereby forbid all discussions and
public meetings among the students upon the subject of domestic
slavery." The Lynchers were pacified, and neither tore down the college
nor hung up the professors; but before separating they resolved that
they would oppose the elevation to office of any man entertaining
abolition sentiments, and would withhold their countenance and support
from every such member of the community. Indeed, it is obvious to any
person attentive to the movements of the South, that the slaveholders
dread _domestic_ far more than foreign interference with their darling
system. They dread _you_, fellow-citizens, and they dread converts among

                        X. LIBERTY OF THE PRESS.

The Constitutions of all the slave States guarantee, in the most solemn
and explicit terms, the Liberty of the Press; but it is well understood
that there is one exception to its otherwise unbounded license--Property
in human flesh is too sacred to be assailed by the press. The attributes
of the Deity may be discussed, but not the rights of the master. The
characters of public, and even of private men, may be vilified at
pleasure, provided no reproach is flung upon the _slaveholder_. Every
abuse in Church or State may be ferreted out and exposed, except the
cruelties practiced upon the slaves, unless when they happen to exceed
the ordinary standard of cruelty established by general usage. Every
measure of policy may be advocated, except that of free labor; every
question of right may be examined, except that of a man to himself;
every dogma in theology may be propagated, except that of the sinfulness
of the slave code. The very instant the press ventures beyond its
prescribed limits, the constitutional barriers erected for its
protection sink into the dust, and a censorship, the more stern and
vindictive from being illegal, crushes it into submission. The midnight
burglary perpetrated upon the Charleston Post-office, and the
conflagration of the anti-slavery papers found in it, are well known.
These papers had been sent to distinguished citizens, but it was deemed
inexpedient to _permit_ them to read facts and arguments against
slavery. Pains will be taken to prevent _you_ from reading this address,
and vast pains have been taken to keep slaveholders as well as others
ignorant of every fact and argument that militates against the system.
Hence Mr. Calhoun's famous bill, authorizing every Southern post-master
to abstract from the mails every paper relating to slavery. Hence the
insane efforts constantly made to expurgate the literature of the world
of all recognition of the rights of _black_ men. Novels, annuals, poems,
and histories, containing sentiments hostile to human bondage, are
proscribed at the South, and Northern publishers have had the extreme
baseness to publish mutilated editions for the Southern market.[11]

    [11] The Harpers, of New York, in reply to a letter from the
        South, complaining of the anti-slavery sentiments in a book
        they had recently published, stated, "since the receipt of
        your letter we have published an edition of the 'Woods and
        Fields,' _in which the offensive matter has been omitted_."

In some of the slave States laws have been passed establishing a
censorship of the press, for the exclusive and special benefit of the
slaveholders. Some time since an anti-slavery pamphlet was mailed at New
York, directed to a gentleman in Virginia. Presently a letter was
received from William Wilson, post-master at Lexington, Va., saying--

    "I have to advise you that a law passed at the last session of
    the Legislature of this State, which took effect on the first
    day of this month, makes it the duty of the post-masters or
    their assistants to report to some magistrate (under penalty of
    from $50 to $200), the receipt of all _such_ publications at his
    office; and if, on examination, the magistrate is of opinion
    they come under the provision of the law, it is his duty to have
    them BURNT in his presence--_which operation was performed on
    the above mentioned pamphlet this morning_."

The Rev. Robert J. Breckenridge, a well-known zealous opponent of
abolition, edited, in 1835, "The Baltimore Religious Magazine." A number
of this magazine contained an article from a correspondent, entitled
"Bible-Slavery." The tone of this article not suiting the slave-breeders
of Petersburg (Virg.), the subscribers were deprived of the numbers
forwarded to them through the post-office of that town. The magazines
were taken from the Office, and on the 8th May, 1838, were burnt in the
street, before the door of the public reading-room, in the _presence and
by the direction of the Mayor and Recorder_!!

It is surely unnecessary to remark, that this Virginia law is in
contemptuous violation of the Constitution of Virginia, and of the
authority of the Federal Government. The act of Congress requires each
post-master to deliver the papers which come to his office to the
persons to whom they are directed, and they require him to take an oath
to fulfil his duty. The Virginia law imposes duties on an officer over
whom they have no control, utterly at variance with his oath, and the
obligations under which he assumed the office. If the postmaster must
select, under a heavy penalty, for a public bonfire, all papers bearing
on slavery, why may he not be hereafter required to select, for the same
fate, all papers hostile to Popery? Yet similar laws are now in force in
various slave States.

Not only is this espionage exercised over the mail, but measures are
taken to keep the community in ignorance of what is passing abroad in
relation to slavery, and what opinions are elsewhere held respecting it.

On the 1st of August, 1842, an interesting address was delivered in
Massachusetts, by the late Dr. Channing, in relation to West India
emancipation, embracing, as was natural and proper, reflections on
American slavery. This address was copied into a New York weekly paper,
and the number containing it was offered for sale, as usual, by the
agent of the periodical at Charleston. Instantly the agent was
prosecuted by the South Carolina Association, and was held to bail in
the sum of $1,000, to answer for his CRIME. Presently after, this same
agent received for sale a supply of "Dickens' Notes on the United
States," but having before his eyes the fear of the slaveholders, he
gave notice in the newspapers, that the book would "be submitted to
highly intelligent members of the South Carolina Association for
_inspection_, and IF the sale is approved by them, it will be for
sale--if not, not." And so the population of one of the largest cities
of the slave region were not permitted to read a book they were all
burning with impatience to see, till the volume had been first
_inspected_ by a self-constituted board of censors! The slaveholders,
however, were in this instance afraid to put their power to the
test--the people might have rebelled if forbidden to read the "Notes,"
and hence one of the most powerful, effective anti-slavery tracts yet
issued from the press was permitted to be circulated, because people
_would_ read what Dickens had written. Surely, fellow-citizens, you will
not accuse us of slander, when we say that the slaveholders have
abolished among you the liberty of the press. Remember the assertion of
the editor of the Missouri Argus: "Abolition editors in the slave States
will not dare to avow their opinions: it would be INSTANT DEATH to

                         XI. MILITARY WEAKNESS.

A distinguished foreigner, after travelling in the Southern States,
remarked that the very aspect of the country bore testimony to the
temerity of the nullifiers, who, defenceless and exposed as they are,
could not dare to hazard a civil war; and surely no people in the world
have more cause to shrink from an appeal to arms. We find at the South
no one element of military strength. Slavery, as we have seen, checks
the progress of population, of the arts, of enterprise, and of industry.
But above all, the laboring class, which in other countries affords the
materials of which armies are composed, is regarded among you as your
most deadly foe; and the sight of a thousand negroes with arms in their
hands, would send a thrill of terror through the stoutest hearts, and
excite a panic which no number of the veteran troops of Europe could
produce. Even now, laws are in force to keep arms out of the hands of a
population which ought to be your reliance in danger, but which is your
dread by day and night, in peace and war.

During our revolutionary war, when the idea of negro emancipation had
scarcely entered the imagination of any of our citizens--when there were
no "fanatic abolitionists," no "incendiary publications," no
"treasonable" anti-slavery associations; in those palmy days of slavery,
no small portion of the Southern militia were withdrawn from the defence
of the country to protect the slaveholders from the vengeance of their
own bondmen! This you would be assured was abolition slander, were not
the fact recorded in the national archives. _The Secret Journal of
Congress_ (Vol. I., p. 105) contains the following remarkable and
instructive record:--

    "_March 29th, 1779._--The Committee appointed to take into
    consideration the _circumstances of the Southern States_, and
    the ways and means for _their_ safety and defence, report, That
    the State of South Carolina (as represented by the delegates of
    the said State, and by Mr. Huger, who has come hither at the
    request of the Governor of said State, on purpose to explain the
    particular circumstances thereof,) is UNABLE to make any
    effectual efforts with militia, by reason of the great
    proportion of citizens _necessary to remain at home, to prevent
    insurrection among the negroes_, and to prevent the desertion of
    them to the enemy. That the state of the country, and the great
    number of these people among them, expose the inhabitants to
    _great danger_, from the endeavors of the enemy to excite them
    to revolt or desert."

At the first census, in 1790, eleven years after this report, and when
the slaves had unquestionably greatly increased their numbers, they were
only 107,094 _fewer_ than the whites. If, then, these slaves exposed
their masters "to great danger," and the militia of South Carolina were
obliged to _stay at home_ to protect their families, not from the
foreign invaders, but the domestic enemies, what would be the condition
of the little blustering nullifying State, with a foreign army on her
shores, and 335,000 slaves ready to aid it, while her own white
population, _militia_ and all, is but as two whites to three blacks?

You well know that slaveholders, in answer to the abolitionists, are
wont to boast of the fidelity and attachment of their slaves; and you
also well know, that among themselves they freely avow their dread of
these same faithful and attached slaves, and are fertile in expedients
to guard against their vengeance.

It is natural that we should fear those whom we are conscious of having
deeply injured, and all history and experience testify that fear is a
cruel passion. Hence the shocking severity with which, in all slave
countries, attempts to shake off an unrighteous yoke are punished. So
late even as 1822, certain slaves in Charleston were _suspected_ of an
_intention_ to rise and assert their freedom. No overt act was
committed, but certain blacks were found who professed to testify
against their fellows, and some, it is said, confessed their intentions.

On this ensued one of the most horrible judicial butcheries on record.
It is not deemed necessary, in the chivalrous Palmetto State, to give
grand and petit juries the trouble of indicting and trying slaves, even
when their lives are at stake. A court, consisting of two Justices of
the Peace and five freeholders, was convened for the trial of the
accused, and the following were the results of their labors:--

                         July  2       6 hanged,
                           "  12       2   "
                           "  26      22   "
                           "  30       4   "
                        August 9       1   "
                            Total     35   "

Now, let it be remembered, that this sacrifice of human life was made by
one of the lowest tribunals in the State; a tribunal consisting of two
petty magistrates and five freeholders, appointed for the occasion, not
possessing a judicial rank, nor professing to be learned in the law; in
short, a tribunal which would not be trusted to decide the title to an
acre of ground--we refer not to the individuals composing the court, but
to the court itself;--a court which has not power to take away the land
of a white man, hangs black men by dozens!

Listen to the confessions of the slaveholders with regard to their happy
dependents; the men who are so contented under the patriarchal system,
and whose condition might well excite the envy of northern laborers,
"the great democratic rabble."

Governor Hayne, in his message of 1833, warned the South Carolina
Legislature, that "a state of _military preparation_ must always be with
us a state of perfect _domestic_ security. A profound peace, and
consequent apathy, may expose us to the danger of _domestic
insurrection_." So it seems the happy slaves are to be kept from
insurrection by a state of military preparation. We have seen that,
during the revolutionary _war_, the Carolina militia were kept at home
watching the slaves, instead of meeting the British in the field; but
now it seems the same task awaits the militia in a season of profound
peace. Another South Carolinian[12] admonishes his countrymen thus: "Let
it never be forgotten that our negroes are truly the Jacobins of the
country; that they are the anarchists, and the domestic enemy, THE

    [12] The author of "A Refutation of the Calumnies inculcated
        against the Southern and Western States."

    Again, "Hatred to the whites, with the exception, in some cases,
    of attachment to the person and family of the master, is nearly
    universal among the black population. We have then a FOE,
    cherished in our very bosoms--a foe WILLING TO DRAW OUR
    LIFE-BLOOD whenever the opportunity is offered; in the mean time
    intent on doing us all the mischief in his power."--_Southern
    Religious Telegraph._

In a debate in the Kentucky Legislature, in 1841, Mr. Harding, opposing
the repeal of the law prohibiting the importation of slaves from other
States, and looking forward to the time when the blacks would greatly
out-number the whites, exclaimed:

    "In such a state of things, suppose an insurrection of the
    slaves to take place. The master has become timid and fearful,
    the slave bold and daring--the white men, overpowered with a
    sense of superior numbers on the part of the slaves, cannot be
    embodied together; _every man must guard his own hearth and
    fireside_. No man would even dare for an hour to leave his own
    habitation; if he did, he would expect on his return to find his
    wife and children massacred. But the slaves, with but little
    more than the shadow of opposition before them, armed with the
    consciousness of superior force and superior numbers on their
    side, animated with the hope of liberty, and maddened with the
    spirit of revenge, embody themselves in every neighborhood, and
    furiously march over the country, visiting every neighborhood
    with all the horrors of civil war and bloodshed. And thus the
    yoke would be transferred from the black to the white man, and
    the master fall a bleeding victim to his own slave."

Such are the terrific visions which are constantly presenting themselves
to the affrighted imaginations of the slaveholders; such the character
which, _among themselves_, they attribute to their own domestics.

Attend to one more, and that one an extraordinary confession:

    "We, of the South, are emphatically surrounded by a dangerous
    class of beings--degraded and stupid savages, who, if they
    could but once entertain the idea, that immediate and
    unconditional death would not be their portion, would re-act
    the St. Domingo tragedy. But a consciousness, with all their
    stupidity, that a ten-fold force, superior in discipline, _if
    not in barbarity_, would gather from the _four corners of the
    United States_, and slaughter them, keeps them in subjection.
    But to the _non-slaveholding States_ particularly, are we
    indebted for a permanent safeguard against insurrection.
    Without their assistance, the white population of the South
    would be _too weak_ to quiet the innate desire for liberty,
    which is ever ready to act itself out with every rational
    creature."--_Maysville Intelligencer._

And now we ask you, fellow-citizens, if all these declarations and
confessions be true--and who can doubt it--what must be your inevitable
condition, should your soil be invaded by a foreign foe, bearing the
standard of EMANCIPATION?

In perfect accordance with the above confession, that to the
non-slaveholding States the South is indebted for a permanent safeguard
against insurrection, Mr. Underwood, of Kentucky, uttered these pregnant
words in a debate, in 1842, in Congress, "THE DISSOLUTION OF THE UNION

The action of the Federal Government is, we know, controlled by the
slave interest; and what testimony does that action bear to the military
weakness of the South? Let the reports of its high functionaries answer.

The Secretary of War, in his report for 1842, remarked, "The works
intended for the more remote Southern portion of our territory,
particularly require attention. Indications are already made of designs
of the worst character against that region, in the event of hostilities
from a _certain quarter_, to which we cannot be insensible." The
Secretary's fears had been evidently excited by the organization of
_black_ regiments in the British West Indies, and the threats of certain
English writers, that a war between the two countries would result in
the liberation of the slaves. The report from the Quarter-Master,
General Jessup, a Southern man, betrays the same anxiety, and in less
ambiguous terms: "In the event of a war," says he, "with either of the
great European powers possessing colonies in the West Indies, there will
be danger of the peninsula of Florida being occupied by BLACKS from the
Islands. A proper regard for the security of our _Southern States_
requires, that prompt and efficient measures be adopted to prevent such
a state of things." The Secretary of the Navy, a slaveholder, _hints_
his fears in cautious circumlocution. Speaking of the event of a war
with any considerable maritime power, he says, "It would be a war of
incursions aimed at _revolution_. The first blow would be struck at us
through our _institutions_;" he means, of course, "the peculiar
institution." He then proceeds to show that the enemy would seek success
"in arraying, what are supposed to be, the hostile elements of our
_social system_ against each other;" and he admits, that "even in the
best event, war on our own soil would be the more expensive, the more
embarrassing, and the more HORRIBLE in its effects, by compelling us at
the same time to oppose an enemy in the field, and _to guard_ against
all attempts to _subvert our social system_." In plain language, an
invading enemy would strike the first blow at the slave system, and thus
aim at revolution,--a revolution that would give liberty to two and a
half millions of human beings; and that such a war would be very
embarrassing to the slaveholders, and the more horrible, because, as
formerly in South Carolina, a large share of their military force would
necessarily be employed, not in fighting the enemy, but in guarding the
SOCIAL, that is, the "patriarchal system."

No persons are more sensible of their hazardous situation than the
slaveholders themselves, and hence, as is common with people who are
secretly conscious of their own weakness, they attempt to supply the
want of strength by a bullying insolence, hoping to effect by
intimidation what they well know can be effected in no other way. This
game has long been played, and with great success, in Congress. It has
been attempted in our negotiations with Great Britain, and has signally

Your aristocracy, whatever may be their vaunts, are conscious of their
military weakness, and shrink from any contest which may cause a foreign
army to plant the standard of emancipation upon their soil. The very
idea of an armed negro startles their fearful imaginations. This is
disclosed on innumerable occasions, but was conspicuously manifested in
a debate in the Senate. In July, 1842, a Bill to regulate enlistments in
the naval service being under consideration, Mr. CALHOUN proposed an
amendment, that negroes should be enlisted only as _cooks_ and
_stewards_. He thought it a matter of _great consequence_ not to admit
blacks into our vessels of national defence. Mr. BENTON thought _all
arms_, whether on land or sea, ought to be borne by the white race.

Mr. BAGBY. "In the Southern portion of the Union, the great object was
to _keep arms and a knowledge of arms_ out of the hands of the blacks.
The subject addressed itself to every Southern heart. Self-preservation
was the first law of nature, and the South must look to that."

On the motion of Mr. PRESTON, the bill was so amended as to include the

And think you that men, thus in awe of their own dependents, shuddering
at a musket in the hands of a black, and with a population of two
millions and a half of these dreaded slaves, will expose themselves to
the tremendous consequences of a union between their domestic and
foreign enemies? Of the four who voted against the British treaty,
probably not one would have given the vote he did, had he not known to a
certainty that the treaty would be ratified.

Think not we are disposed to ridicule the fears of the slaveholders, or
to question their personal courage. God knows their perils are real, and
not imaginary: and who can question, that with a hostile _British_ army
in the heart of Virginia or Alabama, the whole slave region would
presently become one vast scene of horror and desolation? Heretofore the
invaders of our soil were themselves interested in slave property: _now_
they would be zealous emancipationists, and they would be accompanied by
the most terrific vision which could meet the eye of a slaveholder,
regiments of _black troops_, fully equipped and disciplined. Surely such
a state of things might well appal the bravest heart, and palsy the
stoutest arm. But, fellow-citizens, what, in such a catastrophe, would
be your condition? Your fate and that of your wives and children would
then be linked to that of your lordly neighbors. One indiscriminate ruin
would await you all. But _you_ may avert these accumulated horrors. You
may change two and a half millions of domestic and implacable enemies
into faithful friends and generous protectors. No sooner shall the
negroes cease to be oppressed, than they will cease to hate. The
planters of Jamaica were formerly as much afraid of their slaves, as
your planters now are of theirs. But the Jamaica slaves, now freemen,
are no long dreaded; on the contrary, they form the chief military force
of the island; and should a foreign foe attack it, would be found its
willing and devoted defenders. It rests with _you_ to relieve your
country of its most dangerous enemy, to render it invulnerable to
foreign assaults, and to dissipate that fearful anticipation of wrath
and tribulation, which now broods over and oppresses the mind of every
white who resides in a slave country.

We have called your attention to the practical influence of slavery on
various points deeply affecting your prosperity and happiness. These

         1. Increase of population.
         2. State of education.
         3. Industry and enterprise.
         4. Feeling toward the laboring classes.
         5. State of religion.
         6. State of morals.
         7. Disregard for human life.
         8. Disregard for constitutional obligations.
         9. Liberty of speech.
        10. Liberty of the press.
        11. Military weakness.

You will surely agree with us, that in many of these particulars, the
States to which you belong are sunk far below the ordinary condition of
civilized nations. The slaveholders, in their listlessness and idleness,
in their contempt for the laws, in their submission to illegal and
ferocious violence, in their voluntary surrender of their constitutional
rights, and above all in their disregard for human life, and their
cruelty in taking it, are, as a civilized and professedly a Christian
community, without a parallel, unless possibly among some of the
anarchical States of South America.

When compelled to acknowledge the superior prosperity of the free
States, the slaveholders are fond of imputing the difference to tariffs,
or to government patronage, or to any other than the true cause.

Let us then inquire, whether the inferior and unhappy condition of the
slave States can indeed be ascribed to any natural disadvantage under
which they are laboring, or to any partial or unjust legislation by the
Federal Government?

In the first place, the slave States cannot pretend that they have not
received their full share of the national domain, and that the
narrowness of their territorial limits have retarded the development of
their enterprise and resources. The area of the slave States is nearly
_double_ that of the free. New York has acquired the title of the
_Empire_ State; yet she is inferior in size to Virginia, Missouri,
Georgia, Louisiana, or North Carolina.

Nor can it be maintained that the free States are in advance of the
slave States, because from an earlier settlement they had the start in
the race of improvement. Virginia is not only the largest, but the
_oldest_ settled State in the confederacy. She, together with Delaware,
Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina, were all settled before

Nor will any slaveholder admit, for a moment, that Providence has
scattered his gifts with a more sparing hand at the South than at the
North. The richness of their soil, the salubrity of their climate, the
number and magnitude of their rivers, are themes on which they delight
to dwell; and not unfrequent is the contrast they draw between their own
fair and sunny land, and the ungenial climate and sterile soil of the
Northern and Eastern States. Hence the moral difference between the two
sections of our republic must arise from other than natural causes. It
appears also that this difference is becoming wider and wider. Of this
fact we could give various proofs; but let one suffice.

    At the first census in 1790, the free population of the
        present free States and Territories was            1,930,125
     "  of the slave States and Territories,               1,394,847
          Difference,                                        535,278

    By the last census, 1840, the same population in the
      free States and Territories was                      9,782,415
    In the slave States and Territories,                   4,793,738
          Difference,                                      4,988,677

Thus it appears that in 1790 the free population of the South was 72 per
cent. of that of the North, and that in 1840 it was only 49 per cent.;
while the difference in 1840 is more than _nine_ times as great as it
was in 1790.

Thus you perceive how unequal is the race in which you are contending.
Fifty years have given the North an increased preponderance of about
four and a half millions of free citizens. Another fifty years will
increase this preponderance in a vastly augmented ratio. And now we ask
you, why this downward course? Why this continually increasing disparity
between you and your Northern brethren? Is it because the interests of
the slaveholders are not represented in the national councils? Let us
see. We have already shown you that your _free_ population is only 49
per cent. of that of the Northern States; that is, the inhabitants of
the free States are more than _double_ the free inhabitants of the slave
States. Now, what is the proportion of members of Congress from the two

In the Senate, the slave States have precisely as many as the free; and
in the lower House, their members are 65 per cent. of those from the
free States.[13]

    [13] 135 from the free and 88 members from the slave States.
        According to _free_ population, the South would have only 66

The Senate has a veto on every law; and as one half of that body are
slaveholders, it follows, of course, that no law can be passed without
their consent. Nor has any bill passed the Senate, since the
organization of the government, but by the votes of slaveholders. It is
idle, therefore, for them to impute their depressed condition to unjust
and partial legislation, since they have from the very first controlled
the action of Congress. Not a law has been passed, not a treaty
ratified, but by their votes.

Nor is this all. Appointments under the federal government are made by
the President, with the consent of the Senate, and of course the
slaveholders have, and always have had, a veto on every appointment.
There is not an officer of the federal government to whose appointment
slaveholding members of the Senate have not consented. Yet all this
gives but an inadequate idea of the political influence exercised by the
_people_ of the slave States in the election of President, and
consequently over the policy of his administration. In consequence of
the peculiar apportionment of Presidential Electors among the States,
and the operation of the rule of _federal numbers_--whereby, for the
purpose of estimating the representative population, five slaves are
counted as three white men--most extraordinary results are exhibited at
every election of President. In the election of 1848, the Electors
chosen were 290: of these 169 were from the free, and 121 from the slave

    The popular vote in the free States was      2,029,551
      or one elector to 12,007 voters.

    The popular vote in the slave States was       845,050
      or one elector to 7,545 voters.[14]

    [14] South Carolina had 9 electors, chosen by the Legislature.
        These are deducted in the calculation.

Even this disproportion, enormous as it is, is greatly aggravated in
regard to particular States.

    New York      gave 455,761 votes, and had 36 electors.
    Virginia    }
    Maryland    } gave 242,547   "       "    36    "
    N. Carolina }
    Ohio          gave 328,489   "       "    28    "
    Delaware    }
    Georgia     }
    Louisiana   }
    Alabama     } gave 237,811   "       "    38    "
    Arkansas    }
    Florida     }
    Texas       }

These facts address themselves to the understanding of all, and prove,
beyond cavil, that the slave States have a most unfair and unreasonable
representation in Congress, and a very disproportionate share in the
election of President.

Nor can these States complain that they are stinted in the distribution
of the _patronage_ of the national government. The rule of _federal
numbers_, confined by the Constitution to the apportionment of
representatives, has been extended, by the influence of the
slaveholders, to other and very different subjects. Thus, the
distribution among the States of the surplus revenue, and of the
proceeds of the public lands, was made according to this same iniquitous

It is not to be supposed that the slaveholders have failed to avail
themselves of their influence in the federal government. A very brief
statement will convince you, that if they are now feeble and emaciated,
it is not because they have been deprived of their share of the loaves
and fishes.

By law, midshipmen and cadets, at West Point, are appointed according to
the Federal ratio; thus have the slaveholders secured to themselves an
additional number of officers in the Army and Navy, on account of their

Reflect for a moment on the vast patronage wielded by the President of
the United States, and then recollect, that should the present incumbent
(General Taylor) serve his full term, the office will have been filled
no less than _fifty-two_ years out of sixty-four by slaveholders![15]

    [15] Except one month by General Harrison.

Of 21 Secretaries of State, appointed up to 5th March, 1849, only six
have been taken from the free States.

For 37 years out of 60, the chair of the House of Representatives has
been filled and its Committees appointed by slaveholders.

Of the Judges of the Supreme Court, 18 have been taken from the slave,
and but 14 from the free States.

In 1842, the United States were represented at foreign Courts by 19
Ministers and Charges d'Affaires. Of these fat Offices, no less than 13
were assigned to slaveholders!

Surely, surely, if the South be wanting in every element of
prosperity--if ignorance, barbarity and poverty be her characteristics,
it is not because she has not exercised her due influence in the general
government, or received her share of its honors and emoluments.

                       PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE.

If, fellow-citizens, with all the natural and political advantages we
have enumerated, your progress is still downward, and has been so,
compared with the other sections of the country, since the first
organization of the Government, what are the anticipations of the
distant future, which sober reflection authorizes you to form? The
causes which now retard the increase of your population must continue to
operate, so long as slavery lasts. Emigrants from the North, and from
foreign countries, will, as at present, avoid your borders, within which
no attractions will be found for virtue and industry. On the other hand,
many of the young and enterprising among you will flee from the
lassitude, the anarchy, the wretchedness engendered by slavery, and seek
their fortunes in lands where law affords protection, and where labor is
honored and rewarded.

In the meantime, especially in the cotton States, the slaves will
continue to increase in a ratio far beyond the whites, and will at
length acquire a fearful preponderance.

At the first census, in every slave State there was a very large
majority of whites--now, the slaves out-number the whites in South
Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana, and the next census will
unquestionably add Florida and Alabama, and probably Georgia, to the
number of negro States.

And think you that this is the country, and this the age, in which the
republican maxim that the MAJORITY must govern, can be long and
barbarously reversed? Think you that the majority of the PEOPLE in the
cotton States, cheered and encouraged as they will be by the sympathy of
the world, and the example of the West Indies, will forever tamely
submit to be beasts of burden for a few lordly planters? And remember,
we pray you, that the number and physical strength of the negroes will
increase in a much greater ratio than that of their masters.

    In 1790 the whites in N. Carolina were to the slaves as
                             2.80 to 1, now as 1.97 to 1
        "   S. Carolina,  "  1.31 to 1,   "     .79 to 1
        "   Georgia,      "  1.76 to 1,   "    1.44 to 1
        "   Tennessee,    " 13.35 to 1,   "    3.49 to 1
        "   Kentucky,     "  5.16 to 1,   "    3.23 to 1

Maryland and Virginia, the great breeding States, have reduced their
stock within the last few years, having been tempted, by high prices, to
ship off thousands and tens of thousands to the markets of Louisiana,
Alabama, and Mississippi. But these markets are already glutted, and
human flesh has fallen in value from 50 to 75 per cent. Nor is it
probable that the great staple of Virginia and Maryland will hereafter
afford a bounty on its production. In these States slave labor is
unprofitable, and the bondman is of but little value, save as an article
of exportation. The cotton cultivation in the East Indies, by cheapening
the article, will close the markets in the South, and thus it guarantees
the abolition of slavery in the breeding States. When it shall be found
no longer profitable to raise slaves for the market, the stock on hand
will be driven South and sold for what it may fetch, and free labor
substituted in its place. This process will be attended with results
disastrous to the cotton States. To Virginia and Maryland, it will open
a new era of industry, prosperity and wealth; and the industrious poor,
the "mean whites" of the South, will remove within their borders, thus
leaving the slaveholders more defenceless than ever. But while the white
population of the South will be thus diminished, its number of slaves
will be increased by the addition of the stock from the breeding States.

And what, fellow-citizens, will be the condition of such of _you_ as
shall then remain in the slave States? The change to which we have
referred will necessarily aggravate every present evil. Ignorance, vice,
idleness, lawless violence, dread of insurrection, anarchy, and a
haughty and vindictive aristocracy will all combine with augmented
energy in crushing _you_ to the earth. And from what quarter do you look
for redemption? Think you your planting nobility will ever grant freedom
to their serfs, from sentiments of piety or patriotism? Remember that
your clergy of all sects and ranks, many of them "Christian brokers in
the trade of blood," unite in bestowing their benediction on the system
as a _Christian_ institution, and in teaching the slaveholders that they
wield the whip as European monarchs the sceptre, "by the grace of God."
Do you trust to their patriotism? Remember that the beautiful and
affecting contrast between the prosperity of the North and the
desolation of the South, already presented to you, was drawn by W. G.
Preston, of _hanging_ notoriety. No, fellow-citizens, your great
slaveholders have no idea of surrendering the personal importance and
the political influence they derive from their slaves. Your Calhouns,
Footes, and Prestons, all go for everlasting slavery.

Unquestionably there are many of the smaller slaveholders who would
embrace abolition sentiments, were they permitted to examine the
subject; but at present they are kept in ignorance. If then the fetters
of the slave are not to be broken by the master, by whom is he to be
liberated? In the course of time, a hostile army, invited by the
weakness or the arrogance of the South, may land on your shores. Then,
indeed, emancipation will be given, but the gift may be bathed in the
blood of yourselves and of your children. Or the People--for they will
be THE PEOPLE--may resolve to be free, and you and all you hold dear may
be sacrificed in the contest.

Suffer us, fellow-citizens, to show you "a more excellent way." We seek
the welfare of all, the rich and the poor, the bond and the free. While
we repudiate all acknowledgment of property in human beings, we rejoice
in the honest, lawful prosperity of the planter. Let not, we beseech
you, the freedom of the slave proceed from the armed invader of your
soil, nor from his own torch and dagger--but from _your_ peaceful and
constitutional interference in his behalf.

In breaking the chains which bind the slave, be assured you will be
delivering yourselves from a grievous thraldom. Ponder well, we implore
you, the following suggestions.

Without your co-operation, the slaveholders, much as they despise you,
are powerless. To you they look for agents, and stewards, for overseers,
and drivers, and patrols. To you they look for votes to elevate them to
office, and to you they too often look for aid to enforce their Lynch
laws. Feel then your own power; claim your rights, and exert them for
the deliverance of the slave, and consequently for your own happiness
and prosperity.

Let then your first demand be for LIBERTY OF SPEECH. Your Constitution
and laws guarantee to you this right in the most solemn and explicit
terms; and yet you have permitted a few slaveholders to rob you of it.
Resume it at once. Be not afraid to speak openly of your wrongs, and of
the true cause of them. Dread not the Lynch clubs. Their power depends
wholly on opinion. The slaveholders are not strong enough to execute
their own sentences, if _you_ resist them. They shrank, in Charleston,
from prohibiting the sale of Dickens' Notes, because they believed the
people were determined to read them. Had the same curiosity been felt in
Petersburg, to read the article on Bible Slavery in Breckenridge's
Magazine, the slaveholders there would not have dared to purloin them
from the post-office and burn them in the street. In the one place they
strained at a gnat, in the other they swallowed a camel. Be assured,
your bullies are timid bullies; not that they are wanting in individual
courage, but because they are aware that their authority rests, not on
their physical strength, but on _your_ habits of deference and
obedience. Speak then boldly, and without disguise; and be assured that
no sooner will your tongues be loosed on the forbidden subject, than you
will be surprised to find what a coincidence of thought exists in
relation to it. Discussion once commenced, the enemies of slavery will
multiply faster with you than they do elsewhere for the obvious reason,
that with you there is no dispute about _facts_. You all know and daily
witness the blighting influence of the curse which overspreads your
land; and believe us, that just in proportion as your courage rises,
will the arrogance of your oppressors sink.

By conversing freely among yourselves, and proclaiming your hostility to
slavery in public meetings, you will create an influence that will soon
reach the PRESS. The bands with which the slaveholders have bound this
Leviathan will then be snapped asunder. Once establish a FREE PRESS, and
the fate of slavery is sealed. Such a press will advocate your rights,
will encourage education and industry, will point out the true cause of
the depravation of morals, the prevalence of violence, and the
depression of the public welfare.

Having gained the liberty of speech and of the press, you will go on,
conquering and to conquer. Political action on your part will lead to
new triumphs. The State legislatures and the public offices will no
longer be the exclusive patrimony of the holders of slaves. Having once
obtained a footing in your legislative halls, you will have secured in a
quiet, peaceable, constitutional mode, the downfall of slavery, the
recovery of your rights, and the prosperity and happiness of your

Think us not extravagantly sanguine. The very horror manifested by the
slaveholders of the means we recommend, is evidence of their efficacy.
We advise you to exercise freedom of speech. Have they not endeavored to
bully you into silence by the threat, that "the question of slavery is
not and shall not be open to discussion;" and that the moment any
private individual talks about the means of terminating slavery, "_that
moment his tongue shall be cut out and cast upon a dunghill_?"

Promote a free press. Is not the wisdom of the recommendation verified
by the proclamation made of "_instant death_" to the abolition editors
in the slave States, if "_they avow their opinions_?"

Your Constitutions have indeed been rendered by the slaveholders
"blurred and obliterated parchments;" be it your care to restore them to
their pristine beauty, and to make them fair and legible charters of the
rights of man.

But we doubt not, fellow-citizens, that although you give your cordial
assent to all we have said respecting the practical influence of
slavery, you have, nevertheless, some misgivings about the effect of
_immediate_ emancipation. Shut up as you are in darkness on this
subject, threatened with death if you talk or write about it; while the
utmost pains are taken to prevent books or papers, which might enlighten
you, from falling into your hands, it would be wonderful indeed, were
you at once prepared to admit the safety and policy of instant and
unconditional emancipation. You are assured, and probably believe, that
massacre, and conflagration, and universal ruin would ensue on "letting
loose the negroes;" but you are kept in ignorance of the fact, that in
various parts of the world, negroes have been let loose, and in no one
instance have such consequences followed; and you are not permitted to
learn, in discussion, the _reasons_ why such consequences never have
followed, and never will follow the immediate abolition of slavery. What
think you would be the fate of the man who should attempt to deliver a
lecture in Charleston or Mobile on the safety of emancipation? Yet such
a lecture might be delivered with perfect safety, were the lecturer to
be accompanied by one or two hundred of _your_ number, declaring their
determination to maintain freedom of speech and to protect the lecturer.
From such a lecture you would learn, with astonishment, that the
atrocities in St. Domingo, so constantly used by the slaveholders to
intimidate the refractory, arose from a civil war, which the planters,
by their own folly and wickedness, kindled between themselves and the
_free_ blacks, and were wholly independent of the subsequent act of the
French Government manumitting the slaves. You would also hear, perhaps
for the first time, of the peaceful abolition of slavery in Mexico and
South America. You would listen, with a surprise almost bordering on
incredulity, to accounts of the glorious, wonderful success, attending
the emancipation of 800,000 slaves in the British Colonies, without the
loss of a single life. You would learn that in these colonies, among the
liberated slaves, ten, twenty, thirty times as numerous as the whites, a
degree of tranquility and good order and security is enjoyed, utterly
unknown in any Southern or Western slave State. The complaints (grossly
exaggerated, if they reach you through the medium of a pro-slavery
press) of the want of labor and the diminution of production, arise not
from the idleness, but the _industry_ of the enfranchised slaves. Their
wives and children, no longer toiling under the lash, are now engaged in
the occupations of the family and of the school; while many of the
fathers and husbands have become landholders, and raise their own food,
and also articles for the market. Substantial and honest prosperity is
gradually taking the place of that wealth, which, as in all other slave
countries, was concentrated in the hands of a few, and was extorted from
the labor of a wretched, degraded and dangerous population.

If you admit the greatest happiness of the greatest number to be the
true test of national prosperity, then, beyond all controversy, the
British West Indies are now infinitely more prosperous than at any
previous period of their history.

Despots and aristocrats have, in all ages, been afraid of "turning
loose" the PEOPLE, no matter of what hue was their complexion. You have
seen that your own McDuffie does not scruple to intimate, that, were not
the Southern laborers already shackled, an order of nobility would be
required to keep them in subjection; and a shudder seizes Chancellor
Harper, when he reflects that the Northern allies of the slaveholders
are democrats and agrarians.

A glorious career opens before you. In the place of your present
contempt, and degradation, and misery, honor, and wealth, and happiness
court your acceptance. By abolishing slavery you will become the
architects of your own fortune, and of your country's greatness. The
times are propitious for the great achievement. You will be cheered by
the approbation of your own consciences, and by the plaudits of mankind.
The institution which oppresses you is suffering from the decrepitude of
age, and is the scorn and loathing of the world. Out of the slave
region, patriots and philanthropists, and Christians of every name and
sect abhor and execrate it. Do you pant for liberty and equality, more
substantial than such as is now found only in your obliterated and
tattered bills of right? Do you ask that your children may be rescued
from the ignorance and irreligion to which they are now doomed, and that
avenues may be opened for you and for them to honest and profitable
employment? Unite then, we beseech you, with one heart and one mind, for
the legal, constitutional abolition of slavery. The enemy is waxing
faint and losing his courage. He is terrified by the echo of his own
threats, and the very proposal to dissolve the Union and leave him to
his fate, throws him into paroxysms. The North, so long submissive to
his mandates, and awed by his insolence, laughs at his impotent rage;
and all his hopes now rest upon a few profligate politicians whom he
purchases with his votes, while their baseness excites his contempt, and
their principles his fears. Now is the time, fellow-citizens, to assail
the foe. Up--quit yourselves like men: and may Almighty God direct and
bless your efforts!

                             Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics were indicated by _underscores_.

Small caps were replaced with ALL CAPS.

A single superscripted letter was represented by that single letter
preceded by a caret (^).

Errors in punctuation, inconsistencies in abbreviations of names, and
inconsistent hyphenation were not corrected unless otherwise noted. The
punctuation of the mid-nineteenth century was very different to that of
today; with commas, periods, and colons sometimes appearing to be used
interchangeably. Such variations in punctuation were kept as-is.

The tables sometimes have ditto marks, whose meaning are somewhat
ambiguous. Those ditto marks are kept as-is.

On page 5, a period was placed after "p. 206".

On page 14, "supeperior" was replaced with "superior".

On page 23, a period was added after "_not_ a slaveholder".

On page 29, "and and" was replaced with "and".

On page 35, "provison" was replaced with "provision".

On page 37, a period was replaced with a comma.

On page 43, "tribuual" was replaced with "tribunal".

On page 44, "patriarchial" was replaced with "patriarchal".

On page 55, "recomend" was replaced with "recommend".

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Address to the Non-Slaveholders of the South - on the Social and Political Evils of Slavery" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.