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Title: Slavery in History
Author: De Gurowski, Adam G., count
Language: English
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 Suum cuique.


 Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1860, by
 In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
 Southern District of New York.

 To my Friend





  Introduction                                              vii


  Egyptians                                                   1


  Phoenicians                                                17


  Libyans                                                    27


  Carthaginians                                              31


  Hebrews, or Beni-Israel                                    35


  Nabatheans                                                 63


  Assyrians and Babylonians                                  69


  Medes and Persians                                         75


  Aryas--Hindus                                              81


  Chinese                                                    89


  Greeks                                                     97


  Romans--Republicans                                       125


  Romans--Political Slaves                                  149


  Christianity: its Churches and Creeds                     165


  Gauls                                                     173


  Germans                                                   183


  Longobards--Italians                                      199


  Franks--French                                            207


  Britons, Anglo-Saxons, English                            223


  Slavi, Slavonians, Slaves, Russians                       233


  Conclusion                                               251

For the first time in the annals of humanity, domestic slavery,
or the system of chattelhood and traffic in man, is erected into
a religious, social and political creed. This new creed has its
thaumaturgus, its temples, its altars, its worship, its divines, its
theology, its fanatical devotees; it has its moralists, its savants and
sentimentalists, its statesmen and its publicists. The articles of this
new faith are preached and confessed by senators and representatives
in the highest councils of the American people, as well as in the
legislatures of the respective States; they are boldly proclaimed by
the press, and by platform orators and public missionaries; in a word,
this new faith over-shadows the whole religious, social, intellectual,
political and economical existence of a large portion of the Republic.

The less fervent disciples consider domestic slavery as an eminently
practical matter, and regard those of an opposite opinion as abstruse
theorizers; and history is called in and ransacked for the purpose of
justifying the present by the past.

Well: history contains _all_ the evidences--multifarious and decisive.

It is asserted that domestic slavery has always been a constructive
social element: history shows that it has always been destructive.
History authoritatively establishes the fact that slavery is the most
corroding social disease, and one, too, which acts most fatally on the
slaveholding element in a community.

Not disease, but health, is the normal condition of man's physical
organism: not oppression but freedom is the normal condition of human
society. The laws of history are as absolute as the laws of nature or
the laws of hygiene. As an individual cannot with impunity violate
hygienic law--as nature _always_ avenges every departure from her
eternal order: so nations and communities cannot safely deviate from
the laws of history, still less violate them with impunity. History
positively demonstrates that slavery is not one of the natural laws of
the human race, any more than disorders and monstrosities are normal
conditions of the human body.

History demonstrates that slavery is not coeval with, nor inherent in,
human society, but is the offspring of social derangement and decay.
The healthiest physical organism may, under certain conditions, develop
from within, or receive by infection from without, diseases which are
coeval, so to speak, with the creation, and which hover perpetually
over animal life. The disease, too, may be acute or chronic, according
to the conditions or predispositions of the organism. History teaches
that domestic slavery may, at times, affect the healthiest social
organism, and be developed, like other social disorders and crimes, so
to speak, in the very womb of the nation. As the tendency of vigorous
health is to prevent physical derangements and diseases, so the
tendency of society in its most elevated conception is to prevent, to
limit, to neutralize, if not wholly to extirpate, all social disorders.
Not depravity and disease, but purity and virtue, are the normal
condition of the individual: not oppression but freedom is the normal
condition of society.

Some investigators and philosophers discover an identity between the
progressive development of the human body and the various stages of
human society--beginning with the embryonic condition of both. More
than one striking analogy certainly exists between physiological and
pathological laws, and the moral and social principles which ought
to be observed by man both as an individual, and in the aggregate
called society. Thus some of the pathologic axioms established by
Rokitansky[1] (the greatest of living pathologists) are equally
sustained by the history of nations.

 "No formation is incapable of becoming diseased in one or more ways.
 Several anomalies coexisting in an organ commonly stand to each other
 in the relation of cause and effect. Thus, deviation in texture
 determines deviation in size, in form."

The following pages will demonstrate that nations and communities may
become diseased in many ways; and that in proportion as their social
textures deviate from the normal, do they become more and more deformed
and demoralized.

 "All anomalies of organization involving any anatomical change
 manifest themselves as deviations in the quantity or quality of
 organic creation, or else as a mechanical separation of continuity.
 They are reducible to irregular number, size, form, continuity, and

Oppressions, tyrannies, domestic slavery, chattelhood, are so many
mechanical separations of continuity, which in the social organic
creation is liberty.

 "General disease engenders the most various organs and textures
 according to their innate, general or individual tendencies, either
 spontaneously or by dint of some overpowering outward impulse, a local
 affection which reflects the general disease in the peculiarity of its
 products. The general disease becomes localized, and, so to speak,
 represented in the topical affection."

Violence and oppression generated various and peculiar forms of
servitude, until nearly all of them ended in chattelhood, which many
are wont to consider as a topical affection of certain races and
nations. Declining Greece and Rome in the past, Russia under our own
eyes, serve as illustrations.

 "A general disease not unfrequently finds in its localization a
 perpetual focus of derivation, with _seeming_ integrity of the
 organism in other respects."

So nations infected with slavery, nevertheless had brilliant epochs
of existence; and this "_seeming_ integrity of the organism" misleads
many otherwise averse to chattelhood, and makes them indifferent to its

 "Where several diseases coexist in an individual, they are in part
 _primary_, in part _secondary_ and subordinate, although homologous to
 the former."

So many evils are the lot of human society, but almost all of them are
secondary and subordinate to oppression, violence, and slavery.

 "_The issue of a local disease_ in health consists either in the
 perfect re-establishment of the normal condition, or else in partial
 recovery; more or fewer important residua and sequellæ of the disease
 not incomparable with a tolerably fair state of health, remaining

The history of the slow recovery of post-Roman Europe from domestic
bondage justifies the application of this pathologic axiom to the
social condition of nations.

 "_Issue in death_: 1. Through exhaustion of power and of organic

The history of republican, but above all, of imperial Rome,
demonstrates that its decline and death were caused through the
extinction of freedom, free labor, and the free yeomanry, which in
every state constitutes _the power, the organic matter_ of a nation.

 "2. Through the suspended function of organs essential to life,
 through palsy, etc."

When the laboring classes are enslaved, the life of a nation is
speedily palsied.

 "3. Through vitiation of the blood."

What blood is to the animal organism, sound social and political
principles are to society. When such principles become vitiated, the
nation is on the path of decline and death.

 "The worst malformation is never so anomalous as not to hear the
 general character of animal life, etc. Even an individual organ never
 departs from its normal character so completely that amid even the
 greatest disfigurement, this character should not be cognizable."

So often the enslaver and the slaveholding community may preserve
_some_ features of the normal human character, notwithstanding the
"disfigurement" produced.

 "The excessive development of one part determines the imperfect and
 retarded development of another, and the converse."

So the oligarchic development retards the growth and advancement of the
laboring classes, whether the hue be white or black: it prevents or
retards the culture and civilization of individuals and communities.

 "Various and manifold as are the forms of monstrosity, some of them
 recur with such uniformity of type as to constitute a regular series."

History shows that various as are the other social monstrosities,
domestic slavery always recurred with a filial uniformity of type.

 "The genesis of malformation in the human body is still veiled in much
 obscurity despite some progress made in science."

Social _teratology_, or the science of monstrosities, easily traces the
origin and genesis of domestic slavery.

A conscientious study of the records of bygone nations, as well as of
the events daily witnessed during a decennium, produced the following
pages. They complete what I said about slavery a few years ago.[2]
As then, so now, I am almost wholly unacquainted with anti-slavery
literature in any of its manifestations. I diligently sought for
information in the literary and political productions of pro-slavery
writers. Beside legislative enactments, political discussions, and
resolutions by Congress and the legislatures of the various Slave
States, and the messages of their respective governors, I read every
thing that came within my reach, even sermons, heaps of "De Bow's
Review" and "Fletcher's Studies on Slavery."[3] Ah!...

For years the rich resources of the Astor Library have facilitated
my general studies, and the information there sought and found was
enhanced by the kindest liberality experienced from Dr. Coggswell and
all his assistants.

And now let History unfold her records.


[Footnote 1: A Manual of Pathological Anatomy, by Carl Rokitansky, M.D.
Translated from the German, by Edward Swaine, M.D., Fellow of the Royal
College of Physicians.]

[Footnote 2: "America and Europe," chap. X.]

[Footnote 3: Among the neutral publications on American slavery, the
most remarkable and instructive is the work entitled "The Law of
Freedom and Bondage in the United States," by John Codman Hurt.]





_Wilkinson_, _Rosellini_, _Lepsius_, _Uhlemann_, _Rénan_,
_Guttschmidt_, _Bugsch_, _Birch_, _De Rouget_, _Bunsen_, _etc._

In the gray twilight of history, the apparition that first distinctly
presents itself is _Egypt_--that land of wonders, standing on the
shores of the "venerable mother the Nile." The Egyptians already form
a fully-elaborated, organic social structure, nay, a powerful nation,
with a rich material and intellectual civilization, when as yet the
commonly accepted chronology begins to write only rudimental numbers.

It is indifferent (so far as the present investigation is concerned)
whether this Egyptian culture ascended or descended the Nile--whether
its cradle was Meroe, Elephantis, Syene, or Thebes--or whether it first
sprang up and expanded around Memphis. So, the first conquerors of
Egypt may have belonged to the Shemitic or to the Aryan stock--they
may have entered from Asia by the Isthmus of Suez, or by the Straits of
Bab-el-Mandeb and the Red Sea, landing first on some spot in Abyssinia
or Nubia; or, perhaps, the primitive civilizers of the valley of the
Nile were autochthones, who were conquered by foreign invaders. However
these things may have been, Egyptian civilization and culture clearly
bear the impress of indigenous development.

The founders of the Egyptian civil, social and religious
polity considered agriculture as the most sacred occupation of
mortals--transforming the roving savage into a civilized man. It was
the divine Osiris who first taught men the art of tilling the earth, if
indeed he was not its inventor. But the god forged not a fetter for the
farmer, and the Egyptian plough was not desecrated by the hands of a

The first rays of history reveal Egypt densely covered with farms,
villages, and cities, and divided into districts (_noma_), townships,
and communes--each having its distinct deity, and each most probably
self-governing, or at least self-administering: all this in the
earliest epoch, previous to the first dynasties of the Pharaohs, and
anterior to the division of the population into castes.

The division of a population into _castes_, however destructive it
may be to the growth of individuality and the highest freedom in man,
is neither domestic slavery nor chattelhood. These divisions and
sub-divisions originally consisted simply in training the individuals
to special occupations and functions, and so educating them in special
ideas; but not in making any one caste the property of any other. The
gradations of caste constituted no form of chattelhood whatever.

The principal castes were the princes, or Pharaohs, the priests, the
soldiers, and then the merchants, artificers, farmers and shepherds;
and each of these, again, had numerous subdivisions. Together they
directed and carried out all the functions, pursuits, and industries
necessary in a well-organized community.

In the sanctuary of the gods, and before the supreme power of the
Pharaohs and the law, the priest, the military officer or nobleman,
the merchant, the artisan, the daily laborer, the agriculturist,
the shepherd, even the swineherd (considered the lowest and most
unclean)--all were equal. They formed, so to say, circles rather
independent than encompassed by each other. All castes had equal civil
rights, and the same punishments were administered to the criminal
irrespective of the caste to which he might belong. In brief, in
the normal social structure of the Egyptians there existed no class
deprived of the social and civil rights enjoyed by all others, or
looked down upon as necessarily degraded or outlawed. The separation
between one caste and another, moreover, was neither absolute nor

The ownership of the soil was unequally divided; but it was
principally distributed between the sovereign, the priests, and the
officer-soldiers. The latter were obliged, in consideration of the land
held, to perform military services to the prince--a sort of enfeoffment
like that which rose out of the chaos that succeeded the destruction of
the Roman world.

Peasants, agriculturists, and yeomen, formed the bulk of the indigenous
Egyptian population. The husbandmen either owned their homestead or
rented the lands from the king, the priesthood, or the military caste;
and they cultivated the generous soil either with their own hands or by
hired field-laborers; but chattels or domestic slaves were unknown.

The primary cause of social convulsions and disturbances is always to
be found in some great public calamity: such was the celebrated seven
years' famine during the administration of Joseph, which resulted in
concentrating in the hands of the Pharaohs numerous landed estates,
and these principally the farms of the poorer yeomanry. But even then,
no trace is to be discovered in history that any great proportion of
the agricultural population were enslaved. Their condition then became
similar, economically and socially, to that of the English peasantry
during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and even if it finally
degenerated into something like the condition of the Fellahs, still
it was simply political oppression, and not chattelhood. The modern
Fellahs are serfs, enjoying all natural human rights of worship, family
and property; and are separated by a wide gulf from the chattelism
of modern slavery. If, like these Fellahs, the ancient Egyptians
were forced to bow before the arbitrary power of a sovereign, they at
least were not the personal property of an owner who had the power
arbitrarily to dispose of them as his interest or caprice might dictate.

The population constituting the Egyptian nation, and included in this
graded structure of castes, was of varied origin and descent, or,
according to a common form of statement, belonged to various races.
But the process of mixing the various ethnic elements with each other,
went on uninterruptedly during the almost countless centuries of the
historical existence of Egypt, including the epoch of its highest
political development and the brightest blossom of its culture and
civilization. In the remotest period of Egyptian society, the three
superior castes were of a different hue of skin from the others, and
some ethnologists and historians assign them a Shemitic or Japhetic
(_i.e._, Aryan) origin. But the optimates were not white but _red_, and
so they both considered and called themselves. All the other castes--as
artists, architects, merchants, mechanics, operatives, sailors,
agriculturists and shepherds--undoubtedly belonged to the African or
negro stock.

Egypt teemed with an active industrial population, which furnished
countless soldiers to the army during long centuries of victory.
Egyptian history embraces a long period of expansion. Many centuries
lay between the times of the Rhameses and of Necho, during which the
Egyptians conquered Nubia, Libya, and Syria, and reached Kolchis.
These armies could not be recruited--and positively _were not_--from
chattel slaves; for succeeding chapters will show that it was domestic
slavery far more than political which tore the sinews from the arms
of the nations of antiquity, and rendered defenceless their states,
empires and republics. If the officers of the Egyptian armies were
of a _red_ extraction, the rank and file was undoubtedly of the
negro family. Herodotus says that "the Egyptians were black and had
short, crisped hair," and that "the skulls of the Egyptians were by
far thicker than those of the Persians--so that they could scarcely
be broken by a big stone, while a Persian skull could be broken by a
pebble." Such were the elements, with so many, and such varied hues of
skin, or pigments mixed, which constituted the Egyptian people--which
formed a society so strong and compact that, for more than forty
centuries, its influence and existence constitute one of the most
significant phenomena of the antique world. These hybrid elements
elaborated a civilization called by modern ethnologists Cushitic or
Chamitic, in contradistinction to the Shemitic and to the Japhetic[4]
(or Aryan.) The pre-eminent active elements in this civilization were
the artists, merchants, and operatives. It was eminent for mathematical
and astronomical science, for architecture, the mechanic arts, and
a highly elaborated administration. And this Egyptian or Chamitic
civilization, too, preceded by many centuries the Shemitic and Aryan

The origin of the denomination _Chamites_ and _Cushites_ has long
been the subject of numerous ethnologic researches, while comparative
philology, which has proved itself so potent in the solution of
innumerable race-problems, has also been interrogated. The question
is, by what name did the Egyptians call themselves or their land;
and what meaning did they attach to such names? K-M (whence _Kam_,
_Kem_, _Kemi_, _Cham_) signifies "the black land;" though, according
to Champollion, it implies "the pure land;" while others give it
the meaning of "the sceptre." At any rate, _Cham_ signifies "black"
in Egyptian and its ancient dialects--those of Thebes and Memphis,
for instance, as also in the Coptic. Egypt proper was called by its
inhabitants "the black land" on account of the appearance of its soil;
it was black in contradistinction to the _red_ land (or Descher,
_i.e._, "desert") which surrounded the Nile valley. The Hebrews
borrowed the word from the Egyptians, and transferred it from a
geographic to an ethnical name--or rather, perhaps, this application
was made by subsequent commentators on the Hebrew writings. Neither
was the denomination _Cush_ (Egyptian _Kus_, _Kês-i-or_, _Kăs_) used
by the Egyptians for their own land or people. They employed it, as
would appear, to denominate lands situated south of Egypt proper;
for the Egyptian viceroys who administrated the government of these
lands bore the title of "_Si suten n Kus_," or king-sons of Kush.
These lands were thickly inhabited by black and brown populations.
In the same way, the Hebrews (or Beni-Israel) used the denominations
_Cush_ and _Cushites_ in a generic sense for lands and tribes situated
south of them; and the term expanded with the peregrinations, forced
or voluntary, of the Arabs and Jews. First it was applied to lands
and tribes south of Mesopotamia (Naharaina), the birthplace of Heber
(Taber) and the Beni-Israel; and when they were in Egypt, either as
free or captive Hycksos, they applied the term _Cush_ to the region
of Meroe south of the Nile; and (according to Jewish writers) Sabäa,
in southern Arabia, was also inhabited by sons of Cush. It would be
difficult to determine to which language the word primarily belongs,
but, in all probability, early Shemitic writers transmitted it to the
ancient Armenians, just as they in turn transmitted it to western or
Christian writers. Herodotus used it; and his _Kissia_ is identical
with that of the Hebrews and Armenians. The denomination _Chute_,
_Chuzi_, _Cossaia_, _Cussaia_, of various dialects of Fore-Asia has
reference to the tribes of _Kuschani_, _Kusi_, _Cushites_. Hence
Cushites are to be found in Syria, Arabia and Africa.

In the phonetic character is found the expression M-S-R as a
designation for that land. It is synonymous with the Arabic _Misr_,
the Jewish _Mizraim_, _Mazor_, and the Syriac _Mezren_. Various
explanations are given of this word, according to the significations it
has in the various dialects. According to some it means "stronghold,"
while according to others, it signifies "extension;" by the Hebrews it
was applied to Egypt, or, as some commentators assert, to the Egyptians.

Other appellations for the land of Egypt are found in the hieroglyphs
and in phonetic groups. This is the case, for instance, with the group
_Nehi_, signifying the sycamore, which is believed to be indigenous in

None of these names, however, had any historical signification,
so that it still remains a mystery what the native name for the
primitive civilizers of the Nile valley was. As for the name _Egypt_,
_Egyptians_, this was bestowed on them by the Greeks; and some attempt
to deduce it from _Phtha_ or _Ptah_, a divinity of the city and
township of Memphis; and the denomination, _Land of Ptah_, is supposed
to have been used in a generic sense.

The advantage of thus exploring those historical and philological
labyrinths will make itself clear in succeeding chapters. Philology
has explained the signification of various other ancient ethnic
and national names, among others, "Hebrews," "Aryas" or "Aryans,"
"Pelasgi," "Greeks," "Canaanites," etc., and such explanations have
frequently proved of the highest value in letting us into the secret of
their origin, character, and the direction of their activity. But there
is no vestige of the antique language of the Egyptians that would lead
us to suppose that absolute distinctions of race, or chattelhood based
thereon, formed features of the primitive life in the Nile valley.

From various paintings, inscriptions, and philological data, science
has endeavored to reconstruct the ethnological conceptions entertained
by the Egyptians seventeen centuries B.C. The _red_ race occupied Egypt
(chiefly lower Egypt), Arabia, and part of Babylonia; the _yellow_ race
was spread over Palestine and Syria, reaching Africa; the _white_ race
stretched north and north-west of Egypt, inhabiting a part of Libya and
the islands of Rhodes, Cyprus, Crete, etc.; the _black and brown_ race
occupied Egypt, Abyssinia, Nubia, and Southern Arabia. _Nah es. u_ or
_Nah si. u_ was the name given to all negroes or blacks who were not
Egyptians, while to the whole red-colored race they applied the term
_ret_, _ret-u_, signifying "germ."

The Egyptian pantheon was of course the creation of the superior
priests. It made each human race the creation of a separate god; and
very probably all the numerous elements in the complicated social
structure of the Egyptians, that is, every caste or function, even
the lowest, which was still an integral part of the whole, had each
its separate deity. The creator of the black race was either a god
represented symbolically by a blackbird, or the god H'or (or Horos),
son of Osiris, and his avenger, who dwelt in the firmament with all the
other deities.

The negro physiognomy appears on the Egyptian monuments; and this not
only in the representations of common persons, but even in the case
of kings, as, for instance, those of the eighteenth and nineteenth
dynasties, in the statues of Totmes III. and Amenophis III. The
Egyptian king Sabakos was an Ethiopian by birth, and many other
Pharaohs married black African princesses--Nah es. u. There can be no
doubt of intermarriages having been common, between _red_ and _black_
Egyptians proper; and through such unions, legal and illegal, it was
that the brownish rather than entirely black color of the Egyptian
man of the people, as represented on the monuments, was produced. (A
similar slow but uninterrupted transition and modification may be
verified at the present day and under our own eyes--crisped hair, thick
skulls,[5] still prevailing). Finally, eunuchs are represented of a
yellowish hue, perhaps nearer in tint to that of the yellow than the
black race.

Some psychologic ethnologists affirm that the African or pure negro is
to be considered as constituting a passive race, requiring fecundation
by an active one. If this be the case, then the Egyptians solved
the question. The red and dominant race drew no impassable lines of
demarcation by chattelhood; and the black population formed the most
vital element of the social structure.

At the threshold of what our limited knowledge considers as positive
history, therefore, we meet a highly developed society and nation,
which for long centuries enjoyed a political existence, normal when
compared with contemporaneous and surrounding nations, and _domestic
slavery neither lay at the basis of the structure, nor formed an
integral element of Egyptian life_. In the monuments, paintings, and
inscriptions which remain as records and reminiscences of Egypt's
palmy ages, no traces are found in the regular national and domestic
economy, of agricultural or industrial labor which could have been
performed by slaves or chattels. Slaves and slavery existed in Egypt,
not as an intrinsic and integral part of society, but as an unhealthy
excrescence--not under the sanction of right or law, but as the result
of a violation of both. Egyptian slavery was an atonement for social
and personal crime--an abnormal monstrosity, and not the normal and
vital force of Egyptian activity. If slavery had been a normal social
institution, it would have had its deity and its rites; but, as
exclusively the result of a disease, it was regulated and dealt with as

Egyptian slaves consisted of prisoners of war made on the field of
battle, or captives taken in forays made into neighboring or distant
countries. In early times, also, all strangers whom accident or
tempest threw on the shores of Egypt, and who had no claims to a legal
hospitality, were enslaved; for, for centuries Egypt was closed against
the intrusion of foreigners--certain merchants and traffickers only
being specially excepted. Furthermore, conquered countries paid their
tribute partly in children, who thus became slaves. All these slaves
were the property of the Pharaohs, who employed them in various ways,
distributed them to their officials, sold them to their subjects of all
castes, or to domestic and foreign traffickers. But the exportation
of slaves belongs to a later period--the epoch of Egypt's historical
decay. Slaves were imported, but not exported, as there was no special
economical slave-breeding for this or other purposes.

It is unnecessary to dwell on the generally known fact of the captivity
and enslavement of the Jews, or to detail the researches concerning
the Hycksos--first slaves, then masters and rulers, and finally again
overpowered and reduced to captivity. But beside these Shemites,
Hebrews--be they Hycksos or not--all other races and nations were at
some time or other captives and slaves in Egypt. The Pharaohs warred
with Asiatics, and especially with what is now called Caucasian races;
and the monuments show that red, white, and yellow slaves taken in war
were far more numerous than the blacks.

Egyptians condemned for any kind of criminal offence became slaves,
or were condemned to public hard labor. As equality before the law
prevailed in Egypt, a person belonging to the superior caste (red-skin)
was liable thus to become a slave in his own country. Contrary,
however, to the custom of almost the whole of antiquity, and even
of earlier Christian times, the Egyptians never reduced debtors to
personal slavery. A debtor was not personally responsible, and could
not be sold into slavery by his creditor.

Slaves of every kind might be redeemed and manumitted. They then
became equal to other Egyptians, as is evidenced by the marriage of
Joseph with a daughter of a high-priest, and by his eminent official
position. Children born from Egyptians and their slave women, whether
red, yellow, black or white, were equal in all rights, and shared the
inheritance with the legitimate offspring of the same father. The
father transmitted his own status to his children, according to a
custom general in the East, and ascending to the remotest antiquity.

Slaves worked in the mines, and were employed on every kind of hard
labor, but principally, and as far as possible, on those great and
almost indestructible public works and monuments that distinguished the
cities of the Nile. It was the pride of the Pharaohs to be enabled to
inscribe on the structure that the work was not performed by the hands
of Egyptians--referring to the hard work, such as carrying blocks,
raising and preparing material, digging canals, etc. All the servants
about the palace, sanctuary and villa were slaves. They belonged to
all races and colors, and as such are represented on the monuments. In
ancient, independent Egypt, therefore, slavery was, in the strictest
sense, limited to the household.

Such was Egypt, the most ancient of nations and civilizations. In
her, slavery was an incidental and abnormal condition, and did not
enter into the vitals of society during the long centuries that this
society stood foremost among nations and civilizations. In the last
stages of Egyptian history, however, domestic slavery did its terrible
work, helped by conquests by foreigners, by the overthrow of its
independence, by exactions, tributes, and all kinds of oppressions.
Then only was it that political slavery, or what is called oriental
despotism, became altogether fused with domestic slavery.

Various are the causes to which the decomposition and downfall of Egypt
are ascribed. Some assert that Egyptian society and civilization,
traversing all the stages of growth and development, logically ended
in senility, decrepitude and death. Others find in the division into
castes, one of the pre-eminent causes of the decline of Egypt. But,
baneful and destructive as is the organization into castes, it is a
blessing when compared with domestic slavery. The rigid organization
of the castes was a counter-poison, a check imposed upon the extension
of domestic slavery, preventing it from eating up the healthy agencies
of society. The caste system--and above all priestly caste--was, to a
great extent, a curb on the despotism of the Pharaohs. The castes for
many centuries prevented the fusion of the two greatest social plagues:
domestic and political slavery.

The all-powerful law of analogies--which in the course of these pages
will be more luminously exhibited from the fate of other empires and
civilizations--authorizes already the positive, and even axiomatic
assertion, that the almost unparalleled by long historical life of the
Egyptians, and the highly advanced state of their civilization, are
due exclusively to the fact, that domestic slavery and chattelhood
remained for a long time an abnormal outgrowth. It was not the basis of
domestic and national economy, not the object fit for the special care
of the legislator, and was not intertwined with the social, political
and intellectual life of the Egyptians.


[Footnote 4: The term _Japhetic_ is rather confused and unscientific.
It is used here as being more popularly intelligible.]

[Footnote 5: Herodotus.]




_Moevers, Rénan, Duncker, Ewald, Ezekiel, Proverbs of Solomon, etc._

Previous to any epoch settled by positive history, the Canaanites,
or Phoenicians, a highly civilized nation, dwelt in the land called
Palestine. They were an elderly branch of the Shemitic family;
their generic name embracing the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, and
Girgasites--all of whom the Greeks called _Phoenicians_. _Canaan_,
in the Shemitic dialects, signifies "lowland," as was Palestine,
in contradistinction to _Aram_, or the highlands of Mesopotamia
(_Naharajim_, _Nahirim_ of the Old Testament). _Canaan_, in Hebrew
proper, is sometimes synonymous with "merchant;" and the historical
development of the Phoenicians explains and justifies this
signification. The Greek name _Phoenicians_, is supposed by some to be
derived from _phoinizai_, "to kill," whence _Phoinikes_ (Phoenicians),
"bloody men." The Phoenicians, being very jealous of their maritime
trade, killed and in every way molested the navigators from other
lands who dared to follow their vessels or spy out their extensive
maritime establishments, factories, or connections. For this reason
the Greeks long considered the Tyrrenian seas as highly dangerous for
navigators, and as filled with rocks, monsters, and anthropophagi.
Other investigators, again, derive the Greek word Phoenicians from
their _ruddy_ complexion, or from their having first navigated the Red

The primitive seats of the Phoenicians lay north and south of Syria.
From thence they are supposed to have emigrated to Palestine through
the northern part of Syria, while another column from the south
advanced from the delta on the Persian Gulf, anciently called _Assyrium
Stagnum_, or from the islands of Tyros (Tylos) and Arados, situated in
the above-named waters. Some writers suppose that an earthquake obliged
them to emigrate from these shores of the Erythrean or Red Sea (Persian
Gulf) of antiquity, and that their Greek name owes its origin to this

These wanderings through regions already thickly inhabited by various
tribes and nations, may have contributed to develop in these Shemites
that powerful mercantile propensity to which they chiefly owe their
historical immortality; then and there, too, they most probably began
the traffic in slaves, to which, if they were not its originators, they
certainly gave a new and powerful impulse. Thus, while the Phoenicians
figure in history as the earliest navigators and merchants, they must
also be written down in the light of having inaugurated, or at least,
greatly extended the accursed slave-trade.

No division into castes seems ever to have existed among the
Phoenicians. As a general rule, no traces of this social
circumscription are to be detected among the nations of pure or even
of mixed Shemitic stock which flourished in Fore-Asia--in Syria,
Babylon or Assyria. The Phoenician political organism embraced 1st, the
powerful ruling families; and 2dly, the subject classes--a division
similar to that of the _aristos_ and _demos_ which prevailed in Greece,
or to the patricians and plebeians of Rome. The land of Canaan was
originally cultivated by freeholders and yeomen. When one tribe subdued
another, or when the victors settled among the vanquished, the latter
were not enslaved; they became a kind of tribute-paying colonists, with
limited political privileges, but with full civil rights. They were at
liberty to hold real and personal property of every kind, just as much
as the ruling tribe or class. So also it was among all the Shemites,
and, with but few exceptions, among all the nations of antiquity.

Slaves, at this period, were employed only at hard labor in the cities
and in the household; they were as yet neither farmers, field-laborers,
nor mechanics. But, as already mentioned, the Phoenicians were the
great slave-traders, carriers and factors in the remotest antiquity,
and this both by land and sea. At a period of more than fourteen
centuries B.C., the Phoenicians covered all the shores around the Egean
and Mediterranean seas with their factories, strongholds and colonial
cities. Besides this, they stretched out even to the Euxine, while
their colonies studded, also, the Corinthian and Ionian gulfs (on the
sites of modern Patras and Lepanto), and extended on the Atlantic
coast even beyond Gibraltar. The records of the earliest wanderings of
these Canaanitish tribes into Africa, and even Greece, are preserved in
legends as the migrations of gods, demigods and heroes.

Thus the Phoenicians linked in a vast commercial chain Britain, Iberia
(Spain), and India; while the Guadalquiver, the Nile, the Euphrates,
the Tigris and the Indus, served as highways for their trading
enterprise. From Byblos, Tyre, Sidon and other emporiums, they sent
out caravans far and wide into Arabia and Fore-Asia. The products of
their art and industry were reputed most exquisite even as early as the
epoch of the Iliad, and they were vain enough to look on themselves as
the pivots of the world's prosperity, and the Scriptures repeatedly
mention the pride and denounce the vices of the Phoenician cities.
What their merchants bought or received in barter in Asia or in Egypt,
they exchanged for the rough products of Greece, Spain, Albion, Libya,
and the lands on the Euxine: these consisted principally of grains,
hides, copper, tin, silver, gold, and indeed all kinds of marketable
objects. Their central situation for the commerce of the known and
almost of the unknown world, especially favored the slave-trade.
Accordingly Phoenician slaves became more and more valuable, and a
continually extending market produced a constantly increasing demand.
In all probability the inland caravan excursions afforded the principal
supplies for their immense slave traffic; but they also bought, stole,
and kidnapped from every possible place and by every conceivable
stratagem--just as modern American slave-traders do. In this horrid
industry they visited every shore. They carried it on among the Greeks,
among the Barbarians of the Hellespont and the Pontus, among the
Iberians, Italians, Moors and other Africans. Natives of Asia were sold
to Greece and other European countries, while Syria and Egypt were
furnished with European slaves. The great majority of these slaves
belonged to what is called the Caucasian race, and negroes constituted
a comparatively insignificant part. In return for these white chattels
the Phoenicians bartered the products of Egypt and of Fore-Asia.

The Phoenicians, then, were the great, and, in all probability, the
exclusive slave-traders of those times. The traffic had its chief
centre in Byblos, Sidon and Tyre--the depots, bazaars, and storehouses
of which were always glutted with human merchandise.

In times positively historical, when Phoenicia had come to be the
mighty and flourishing emporium of the world's trade, foreign slaves
constituted the immense majority of the population of her cities--as
indeed was the case with most of the commercial cities of antiquity;
but none of them were so crowded with slaves as were Byblos, Tyre,
and Sidon. In consequence of this agglomeration, slavery gradually
crept from the market and the household into general industry and
agriculture. The slaves thus employed by the Phoenicians may be
classified as follows: 1. Slaves of luxury, living in the house of
the master; 2. Slaves employed in various branches of manufacture, as
weavers, dyers, and artisans of all kinds--as also in the manual labors
common to every maritime and commercial city; 3. Agricultural slaves.

This vast accumulation of slaves begat repeated and bloody revolts
during the whole historic existence of Phoenicia. The scanty and
comparatively insignificant fragments of her history which now
exist are filled with accounts of such revolts, generally ending as
most fearful tragedies. An uprising of this kind occurred in Tyre
about ten centuries B.C.; and history records, that at that time
the king, the aristocracy, all the masters, and even great numbers
of non-slaveholding freemen were slaughtered. The women, however,
were saved and married by the slaves; and thus many primitive
oligarchic families entirely disappeared. Frequent servile revolts
and insurrections of this kind resulted at length in the partial
emancipation of the slaves and their conquest of certain civil rights.

In keeping with the almost boundless accumulation of wealth in those
cities was the increase in the number of slaves. As a consequence,
the free laborers, artisans, and farmers became impoverished and
dispossessed; and, as was natural, they often joined the insurgent
bondmen. The oligarchs also sent out these poor freemen wherever
Phoenician ships could carry them, or wherever there was a chance of
establishing factories, cities, or colonies. Such was the common origin
of those primitive Phoenician settlements, which were scattered north
and west on almost every shore. In most regions, even in Libya, their
object was simply commercial and not at all of a conquering character.
At any rate the newcomers soon intermarried and mixed with the natives.

The slaveholding rulers were now forced to sustain a hired soldiery
to keep down the slaves--not for defence against an external but an
internal foe. Among these hirelings were the Carryians, Lydians,
Libyans, and Libyo-Phoenicians. To such motley mercenaries were they
obliged to intrust the security of their homes and municipalities.
At times this hireling soldiery joined the revolted slaves, and they
formed but a poor defence against the Egyptians, or against Assyrian,
Babylonian, Persian, and Alexandrian conquest. To all these empires
the Phoenician slaveholders were obliged to pay tribute, until finally
Alexander massacred or enslaved them all--slaveholders and slaves alike.

Already some of the violent pro-slavery militants in the slave section
of the United States express their purpose to invoke the aid of France
in their schemes of secession and conquest, and propose that their
cities and states be occupied by French garrisons. What a striking
analogy with the course of the fated Phoenicians! And if eventually
France should listen to their humble prayer and send defenders to these
terrified slave-masters, climatic reasons would induce her to furnish
such troops as are naturally fitted to bear the tropical heats of the
slave-coast--the malarious regions of Louisiana and South Carolina.
Such would be her Zouaves and Turcos--the Zouaves enemies of every
kind of slavery, and the Turcos negroes themselves. Where then would
be their defenders and their security? Every French soldier, even if
neither Zouave nor Turco, would, in all probability, side at once
with the oppressed against the oppressor. The prejudice of race, so
prevalent in America, is not a European characteristic: it did not
exist in antiquity; it does not prevail in Europe now.

It was not the existence of an oriental political despotism in
Phoenicia--it was _domestic slavery_, which, penetrating into industry
and agriculture, destroyed the richest, most enterprising, and most
daring community of remote antiquity. Cicero wrote their epitaph:
"_Fallacissimum esse genus Phoenicum, omnia monumenta vetustatis atque
omnes historia nobis prodiderunt._"

When, therefore, positive history slowly rises on the limitless horizon
of time, Phoenicia appears as an ominous illustration of how domestic
slavery, from an external social monstrosity, tends to become a chronic
but corrosive disease. And neither does the evidence of history end
with her. Over and over again will it be found that slavery, after
eating so deeply into the social organism as to become constitutional
and chronic, has the same ultimate issue, even as a virus slowly but
surely penetrates from the extremities into the vitals of the animal

The intermediate stages of such diseases and the process of the
symptoms are often modified in their outward manifestations to such
an extent as to lead even the keen observer astray. But it is only
he who can unerringly diagnosticate the _nature_ of the disease who
can ever become a great healer: he discovers the true character and
source of the malady, whatever may be its external complications, and
from whatever conditions and influences they may result. Some symptoms
may increase, others decrease in intensity and virulence in the
physiological as in the social disease--they are, however, secondary.
The parallel holds good--the principle remaining unchanged: life
becomes extinct for similar reasons in the animal as in the social and
political body.

Thus, in the history of the Phoenicians, and therefore, in the earliest
authentic epoch, a great historical and social law manifests itself
in full action. This activity it retains through all the subsequent
social and political catastrophes in the life of nations and empires,
down even to Hayti with her immortal Toussaint. _Slavery generates
bloody struggles._ Many of these have resulted in the slaves violently
regaining their liberty, while others have destroyed the whole
state--swallowing up the slaveholders in their own blood, or burying
them under the ruins of their own social edifice.




_Diodorus Siculus, Corippus, Moevers, etc._

The primitive social and intellectual condition of the populations
dwelling along the shores of Africa washed by the Mediterranean
sea, can only be inferred from their respective relations with the
Phoenicians and Carthaginians. Other sources of historical information
as to that remote period there are none, while later times also give
comparatively scanty satisfaction.

Ethnology has not yet positively determined who the aborigines of Libya
were, and it is questionable if it can ever be satisfactorily settled.
Egyptian inscriptions indicate a white race in the north-eastern corner
of Libya, adjoining Egypt; while further to the west lived the blacks.
At a period exceedingly remote, the whites mixed with these negro
blacks, who probably immigrated from the centre of Africa--Soudan--and
spread over the whole of Libya. These remote epochs, however,
altogether refuse chronological limitation. But when chronology, even
of the most rudimentary kind, becomes possible, history shows us the
existence, in Libya, of a nomadic and agricultural people, who can
be no other than these cross-breeds, and who had brought a part of
the land to a high degree of cultivation. The Libyans may thus be
considered as an autochthonous African population--a theory which is
confirmed by other evidence not now necessary to give.

Among these Libyans--called by the Greeks _Afri_, and by the Romans,
_Africani_--agriculture was in a highly flourishing condition at the
epoch of the earliest myths and legends of Greece: all the Hellenic
legends relating to the distant sea-wanderings of gods or heroes, carry
them to the Libyan shores about the _Regio Syrtica_--Tripolis. Among
these are the Argonauts and Heraklides, Perseus, Kadmos, Odysseus,
and Menalaos. So the Greek myths of Atlas and the Garden of the
Hesperides have their spring and source in that part of Libya. All this
presupposes a very old culture. Herodotus says that the Ægis of the
Greek Pallas originated in Libya, as also that Athene here received
Gorgona's head for her Ægis. Even at the present day, the chiefs of
some of the tribes in the southern part of ancient Libya carry the
skins of leopards and other wild beasts on their shoulders in such a
way that the head of the animal, Ægis-like, covers their breast. The
adventurous Phoenician and Greek navigators of the earliest period
accordingly found the Libyans already a highly cultivated people. This
culture, too, they possessed previous to their intercourse with the
Canaanites, Phoenicians, or Greeks--anterior even to the wanderings of
Astarte, Anna, or Dido.

At this epoch the Libyans were possessed of written language. Their
alphabet was, in certain peculiarities, of an older type than even
the Phoenician--that father of so many eastern and western alphabets.
_Leptis_ and _Oka_ are Libyan names for Libyan cities which were in
existence previous to any Phoenician colonizations--though these
colonizations are themselves anterior to positive history.

Goats, sheep, and other domestic animals were introduced into Greece
and Italy from Libya; and from thence also came the knowledge of how to
breed and rear them. The Libyans also, in all probability, first taught
them the mode of keeping and rearing bees, as the Greek word for "wax,"
_keros_--Latin, _cera_, is by some deduced from the Berber (Libyan)
_ta-kir_, and the Greek designation for honey, _meli_, _mel_--Latin,
_mel_, from the Berber _ta-men-t_. Others, however, trace both those
words to a Sanscrit root.

As an evidence of their advanced civilization, it may be mentioned
that the Libyans were highly accomplished in horticulture at a time
when the fields of Greece and Italy were only rudely ploughed. From
Libya across the Mediterranean, the leguminous or pulse plants seem to
have been introduced into Southern Europe, together with the mode of
their use and culture; and some investigators consider that the Latin
names for "pease" (_cicer_), for "lentils" (_lens_, _lentis_), and for
"beans" (_faba_), have their origin in the Berber _ikiker_, _ta-linit_,
and _fabua_. But to these words, also, others give a Sanscrit origin.
_Cucurbis_ "cucumber," is in Berber _curumb_--although, again, it is
traced, but forcedly, to the Sanscrit. Whatever may be the origin of
the words, it is an historical fact that the Romans acquired their
whole knowledge of horticulture from the Libyans and Libyo-Phoenicians;
and it may even be surmised that the Latin _urtus_, "hortus," had its
root in the Berber _urt_.

Civilization among the Libyans, therefore, was anterior to any contact
either with Phoenicians or Greeks, and long centuries anterior to the
Carthaginian domination over the northern shores of Africa.

The Libyans were a nation of agriculturists and freeholders. No
trace of slavery appears among them, and, if it existed at all, was
altogether insignificant and accidental. When the Phoenicians and
Canaanitish settlements increased in power and number, the Libyans
became tributary colonists, and the Phoenicians instituted the
slave-trade among them, whose victims were confined mostly to the

As we have before said, the poor white colonists sent from Canaan and
Phoenicia to Libya intermarried with the natives; and from this union
came the Libyo-Phoenicians of history. The relations which the Libyans
(and subsequently the Libyo-Phoenicians, when again subjugated) held
to Phoenician and Canaanitish settlers, were similar to those which
free Romans afterward held to the Longobard and Frankish conquerors who
settled upon and held the lands of which they were once the masters.




_Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Polybius, Corippus, Moevers, etc._

The Carthaginians were the great ethnic offshoots of Phoenicia in
the western part of the ancient world. It would not be in place here
to inquire what motives led these wanderers away from their Asiatic
home, or what was the nature of the settlement which they made. They
left Tyre and founded the celebrated city of Carthage, on a spot
where an ancient colony from Sidon previously existed.[6] Carthage
very early--indeed, we might almost say, at the start--assumed a
higher character than any previous colony or city of Phoenicia. It
soon became, in fact, an independent political power. It began to
flourish at a time when Tyre and Sidon were on the decline, and when
these once great cities had become tributary to Asiatic potentates.
The Carthaginians became first the protectors, and soon afterward,
the masters of all the ancient Phoenician colonies scattered over
the western world. Nor did they stop here; they became a warlike and
conquering empire. The political misfortunes of their mother country
increased, by almost uninterrupted immigration, the number of poor
free citizens in Carthage, as well as in other seacoast cities now
Punic, though once Phoenician--many of them, indeed, having a numerous
Libyo-Phoenician population. This surplus the Carthaginians sent off as
colonists into the interior of Libya, where they founded smaller cities
or settled as agriculturists among the native population, whose lands,
in many instances, were assigned to the new-comers. The Carthaginian
oligarchy soon began to oppress and look with contempt upon the ancient
Phoenicians, Libyo-Phoenicians and Libyans. In process of time, the new
colonists mixed with the ancient populations, and all were soon equally
sufferers from oppressive tributes and exactions. The common hatred of
these various populations against the oligarchy, which frequently led
to revolt, was a powerful aid to the Numidian kings and to the Romans
in their efforts to crush haughty Carthage.

The great Carthaginian oligarchs and slaveholders extended and
perfected what the Phoenicians perhaps only began. They acquired in
various ways vast landed estates, and oppressed and impoverished the
tributary colonists and small freeholders by grievous exactions; they
seized their homesteads, and finally reduced them to serfdom and
slavery. Toward the decline of Carthaginian power, such estates were
mostly cultivated by slaves; and these slaves--those in the country as
well as those in the cities--were either Libyo-Phoenicians and Libyans,
or belonged to Asiatic and European races--the unhappy individuals
being either bought or taken as prisoners of war. The subdued and slave
populations were as mixed as the Carthaginian armies, which, in Africa
especially, contained a vast number of negroes--thus presenting an
antetype of the French Turcos.

The gigantic struggle of Carthage with Rome decided the destinies of
the world. Carthage fell. But the breath of the moribund slave-holding
oligarchy of Carthage poisoned Rome. The tragic malediction of Dido
received its fulfilment, though not in the precise manner recorded by
Virgil in the Ænead.

After having conquered Carthage and Numidia, the Romans distributed
among their own colonists the immense estates of the Carthaginian
slaveholders, which, however, had been previously appropriated by
the Numidian kings. Phoenicians, Libyo-Phoenicians, Libyans and
Carthaginians, all now either became Roman colonists, or else serfs
and chattels in the villas of their Roman masters. When the Vandals
conquered Africa, the Romans in their turn shared the fate of all
their predecessors, who had in succession been reduced to serfdom and
domestic slavery, the one by the other. In the character of serfs
and chattels, these various races now cultivated for their Vandal
masters the lands and farms which once were their own. Thus affording
an additional illustration of the eternal and omnipotent law of
_retribution_ and _compensation_.


[Footnote 6: The name _Carthage_ signifies a "new borough," or "city."]




_The Scriptures, Ewald, Rénan, Duncker, Gessenius, Grotefend, etc._

The pro-slavery party, pacific as well as militant, has long sought to
fall back on the Mosaic records for the justification of the "sacred"
and "patriarchal" institution. The historic records throw a bright
light on the gray dawn of Hebraic life--giving us an insight into the
primitive forms of society, not only of the Hebrews, but of the other,
and especially the Shemitic inhabitants of Syria and of Fore-Asia. And,
truly enough, servants and slaves are found around the tent of the

It has already been mentioned that in times long prior to any definite
chronology, the regions constituting Syria, Palestine and Arabia
were inhabited by various tribes--some of whom were offshoots from
one stem and some from another. Of these tribes, some had already
formed themselves into well-developed societies, while others, if they
were not absolutely roving nomads, yet often changed their dwellings
according to the exigencies of pastoral life. Palestine, the final home
of the Hebrew, was, in all probability, the earliest as well as the
chief highway of antiquity--especially for the Shemitic and Chamitic
races, just as the Caucasus and its slopes are supposed to have been
the highway for Aryan or Indo-European emigrants, and for Finnic,
Altaïc, and Mongolian or yellow races. This character it had before the
time when Terah, Abraham's father, drove his herds from the table-lands
of Mesopotamia (_Naharaina_); and it preserved it under Phoenician as
well as under Hebrew dominion. Repeatedly did Egyptians, Assyrians
and Babylonians, as well as Persians, and finally Alexander and his
generals, march through Palestine in their invading and conquering
expeditions. The important part which Palestine played in the early
commercial history of the world, also, has already been pointed out
while treating of the Phoenicians.

The origin first of domestic servitude, and then of absolute
chattelhood, among the primitive pastoral tribes, may be traced to
two distinct sources, both of them springing from abnormal conditions
and events. One source was the constant feuds and wars of the tribes;
the other, individual indolence and shiftlessness. The household of a
patriarch, originally composed of a family and then of a clan, soon had
its share of restless as well as indolent dependents. Such hangers-on
were neither as frugal nor as industrious as the patriarch's family,
and so enjoyed but small consideration; generally, moreover, they were
most likely strangers who, through necessity or gratitude, adhered
to the house and considered themselves an integral part of it. But
the patriarch had the most absolute power over all the members of the
family--over his wife, his sons and daughters, and all their progeny
and relations. He could banish them from the family and hearth; he
could sell them away to others; he had power of life and death over
them all; and such powers, of course, extended over dependents and
servants. In fact, the patriarch was the supreme and only-existing
law. His will, and absolute obedience thereto, was the only guarantee
of order inside of the tent, and outside of it also in their relations
with the tents and clans of other patriarchs. The more exclusive and
distinct such a family or clan was, the more independent it was in
all its relations with similar social crystallizations; and the more
closely did the dependents adhere to it for support and protection.

Such was undoubtedly the origin of the domestic servitude which
appears in the Scriptures with the apparition of Abraham as a distinct
historical individuality. But such servants and dependents being
a part of the family, were not commonly sold nor made an article
of merchandise, and were not, strictly speaking, chattels, as were
prisoners made in feuds or wars.[7] Besides, in the formation
of the primitive patriarchal household, the domestic, pastoral
and agricultural labors were performed by the family--children,
grandchildren, etc.; just as it is in the present day in every
simple household--for a simple family formed the germ of the tribe
and of the retainers around the tent of the patriarch. As the family
increased, so did the herds, and so also did the duties to be
performed. Meanwhile the members of the expanding family continued to
attend to the household services--just as is now the case in similar
circumstances--without their becoming slaves or chattels for all that.
The primitive Aryan language (of which hereafter) clearly confirms
what both reason and analogy assert as being an inherent fact in the
constitution of every family, whatever may be the peculiarities of
skin or skull, or their other ethnic characteristics. Moreover, even
according to those opposed to the absolute unity of the whole human
race, the Shemites descend from the same common progenitor as the Aryas
(of whom are we), and this affinity strengthens what was said above
concerning the similarity of their domestic life.

With the increase of the tribes and families, neighboring or
scattered, increased the degeneracy of the dependents, until finally
these miserable persons, grown to be an excrescence on the primitive
Hebrew family life, and unable to take care of themselves, willingly
accepted slavery--at times indeed craved it. The same phenomenon, under
different modifications, and occasioned by various causes, again and
again reappears in divers nations and empires, just as the same bodily
maladies have constantly reproduced themselves throughout the countless
centuries of human existence. And indeed the _morale_ of Noah's curse
can only be, that servitude, being generated by corruption of manhood,
was, in its very nature, a diseased and degraded condition.

Abraham belonged to a class common to the Arabs, Hebrews, and all the
Shemitic races--shieks or chiefs of warlike tribes, who were in the
habit of making war against each other, carrying off prisoners, and
even kidnapping on occasion. It was these victims chiefly that were the
objects of traffic; and this very trait is true of the Arab tribes down
to the present day.

The Hebrews, liberated from captivity in Egypt--that is, from political
slavery, which must never be confounded with chattelhood--fought
against their kinsmen, the Shemitic Canaanites, with a view to make
themselves a home in a country already thickly settled, and in
comparatively advanced culture and civilization. The Hebrews, poor,
energetic, and hardened by the privations of a long captivity, bore
the same relation to the nations of Canaan which they invaded, as the
half-naked, half-starved barbarians of a long subsequent epoch bore to
the Roman world, against which they rushed with the force of doom. The
invading Israelites, according to the commands of Jahveh (Jehovah),
carried on wars of extermination against the Phoenicians, Philistines,
Ammonites, Amorites, Moabites, and other inhabitants of south-western
Syria. Many of these original occupants and cultivators of the land of
Canaan fled even to Africa, from the exterminating fury of the Jews,
led by Moses, Aaron, and Joshua. Meanwhile the Jews took possession
of the conquered and abandoned lands, which were divided between
the tribes; and the great body of the Hebrews settled on them as
agriculturists and free yeomen. In process of time, under the direction
and inspiration of Jahveh, the supreme Lord of Israel, the body of
commandments, regulations and ceremonials, called the Mosaic law, was

The law of Moses has two prominent divisions--first, imperative
commands, and second, dispensations. In respect of all absolute duties
to God, as well as domestic and social duties, the law lays down its
commands even to the minutest details, and rigidly condemns their
violator. But, on the other hand, taking into account human frailty,
and the temptations to which it is exposed, as also the exigencies and
customs of life, the law is also full of dispensations. This twofold
character of the Mosaic law affords its antagonists a broad field for
assaults on its apparent contradictions. The law condemns idolatry,
yet Aaron, the first high-priest, casts a golden calf for the people
to worship, while Moses raises a brazen serpent before their eyes
as a material symbol for their faith. The law commands monogamy,
but permits and regulates concubinage. It prohibits licentiousness,
fornication, and rape, but overlooks them in certain instances, as,
for example, after a successful battle or the storming of a city,
because such crimes are unavoidable when the demoniac passions are
brought powerfully into play. Many other illustrations of this twofold
character of the Mosaic law might be pointed out.

But minute and precise though the Mosaic record is in its religious and
social commands and obligations, it nowhere commands the Hebrews, as a
religious or social duty, to enslave the Canaanitish idolaters among
whom they lived. Enslavement and chattelhood are nowhere laid down as
special duties, nor is slavery regarded as forming the corner-stone of
the Jewish social, civil, and religious structure. Slavery is not the
subject of the covenant with God or of the covenant with man; neither
did the possession of slaves confer any political, religious, or social
rights. All this was left for the deduction of modern theology and

The Mosaic law deals with slavery as with an existing evil, and
regulates it as an abnormal institution. The lawgiver recalls to the
memory of the Jews that they were themselves captives and bondsmen--an
historic fact to which, as we have already seen, the ancestry of many
of the slaveholders in the United States, at the present day, furnish a

But perhaps Biblical commentators have not drawn with sufficient
severity the distinction in meaning between the Hebrew word for
"servant," "attendant," etc., and that for an "absolute chattel."
Chattelhood, in the modern legal and practical application of the term,
was undoubtedly a rare condition in the time of the patriarchs, and
even in the primitive theocratic epochs of Beni-Israel. The Hebrew
language has four words to express the primitive domestic relations
of the race, and neither of them will admit the meaning of positive
chattelhood. Probably the oldest is the word _a'buddah_, which occurs
in the book of Job, whose dialect is considered by modern philologists
to be far older than the Mosaic scriptures; the same word is also found
once only in Genesis (Gessenius Dict.). It is a collective noun, and
signifies "attendants," "laborers," and, according to some exegetes, it
also signifies an "_estate_." Such may perhaps be its meaning in the
book of Job, as it occurs after the enumeration of various movables,
such as flocks and herds, and may thus, in distinction, convey the
idea of real property. The logical sequence in such enumerations was
undoubtedly the same then as it is now--movables first in order,
then landed property. Another Hebrew word for the primitive domestic
servant is _na'ar_, but its application seems to have been rather
limited; it is mostly employed to designate a "lad-servant" or
"apprentice." The word most generally used, however, and the one most
variously translated and explained by lexicographers is _e'bed_: it
variously signifies "subject," "servant," "serf," "slave," "attendant,"
"officer," etc. Its application to a "serf" or "slave" has perhaps
rather a moral or ideal than a positive legal or social sense. Thus,
when in Genesis it is said that "Moses removed the swarms of flies from
Pharaoh, from his servants (_e'bed_), and from his people," the word
_e'bed_ undoubtedly signifies "ministers," "courtiers," "officers,"
and "servants of the court," and not actual serfs or slaves. Common
sense would surely indicate that chattels could not have been mentioned
immediately after the great Pharaoh, and before his people; and still
less likely is it that the oriental despotism which reduced _all_
to political slaves was unknown in the Egypt of the early Pharaohs.
Finally, the word _abduh_ alone may signify a "slave" in the strict
sense of the term; it is used by Ezra, and belongs to a period of
national degradation, when both slavery and idolatry flourished in

Slavery, however, never became an integral element of Hebrew life, nor,
during their centuries of glory, did its pestilence-breath endanger the
national vitality. The Mosaic record, covering a period of nearly one
thousand years, never mentions any slave revolt, such as so often shook
the neighboring and contemporaneous Phoenicians.

For domestic slaves, the Hebrews procured foreigners, through traffic
or by war; and such slaves were of the same race as the slaves of
the Phoenicians and other neighboring nations. In the history of the
Beni-Israel, there are long episodes containing accounts of wars,
principally with tribes belonging to the same Shemitic family from
which the Hebrews themselves sprang, and many of the slaves made in
these wars must have belonged to the nearest cities and kingdoms.
If these had been so numerous as to be employed in large bodies
in agricultural labor, undoubtedly there would have been revolts
during the absence of their masters on military expeditions, or even
during times of peace. The absence of any such event in the history
of the Hebrews, proves that domestic slavery was for many long
centuries recognized only as an abnormal institution, and its growth
circumscribed by jubilees and limitary statutes.

The regulations prescribing the status of slaves, and their general
condition, are within, the reach of every one. Their spirit is mild
and beneficent for the bond-man; the duration of his slavery is
limited--his treatment is humane, and the condition not ordinarily
hereditary. In the times of the early patriarchs, a servant could
become the chief of the family--thus proving that some commentators
have made a strange confusion in the interpretation of the
above-mentioned Hebrew word (_e'bed_), when they construe it as
applying to such a system as modern American slavery. A servant who
was eligible to become the chief of a family could not be a chattel,
but must necessarily have been a member of the clan, with independent
powers and rights, and at least the proprietorship of himself.

Among the Hebrews, also, a man could voluntarily sell himself into
slavery; thus the debtor paid his debts with his own body, or with
that of his wife or child. This custom was almost universal in early
antiquity, as well as among the Romans and the barbarous Germans. But
the Mosaic law appointed a regular epoch for the emancipation of all
slaves, and therefore of debtors among the rest; and the operation of
this law it was which made hereditary slavery of such comparatively
rare occurrence.

Slaves, therefore, even when bought from the Gentiles, and therefore
considered _unclean_ by the Hebrews, or when prisoners taken in war,
were not cut off from the general law of protection. They enjoyed
human rights, and some of the civil privileges of the Jewish born. No
absolute distinctions of men can be traced in the Mosaic law without
perverting its whole moral tendency. When a slave received any severe
wound from his master, he was from thence declared free, and the Jewish
law punishes with death the sale of a freeman into slavery--(a fact,
by the way, in striking contrast with the great social movement of
the militant pro-slavery party, whose policy it is to enslave both
emancipated and free-born). A slave concubine could not be sold to
strangers--still less her children by her master. But if he wished to
be rid of her, the master was obliged to find her a husband or another
master among his relatives or friends. In the old colonial times in
America, the law inflicted a penalty on _white servants and bondsmen_
for mixing with black chattels--but what penalty threatened the _white
masters_ for the same offence? The fact is, the slave-breeders of the
slave regions continually invoke the Bible to justify their doings, and
continually violate Scriptural regulations.

The Mosaic law commands: "Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the
servant which is escaped from his master unto thee: he shall dwell
with thee, even among you, in the place which he shall choose in one
of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him."
Some modern commentators attempt to contract this humane and universal
command, by arguing that it only applied to _Jewish born_ servants or
slaves; but sound criticism utterly annihilates the assumption. On
the contrary, the phrase "_in one of thy gates_," is a positive proof
that the command had in view fugitives of every tribe and kingdom.
All Gentiles, slaves as well as freemen, were considered by the Jews
"unclean," and there might have been some difficulty in admitting such
runaways into their _houses_. But whatever was the creed or nationality
of the _escaped_, he found safety "_in the gates_," and from thence
could not be "delivered unto his master." Difference of religion and
not of race constituted the paramount distinction between the Jew and
the Gentile; if the command, therefore, were exclusively applicable
to the Jewish slave, even then its spirit is violated by the American
fugitive slave act, to uphold which, the Mosaic law is blasphemed--for
the enslaved race of Christian America are of the same faith and
baptism as their owners.

With the increase of luxury and corruption under the Hebrew kings,
kidnapping and the traffic in men and women seem to have largely
increased. The slaves stolen in piratical expeditions among neighboring
tribes were exported to a distance, while others were imported from
thence into Judea. But against this practice the prophets--those
inspired successors of the lawgiver of Sinai--thundered terribly. The
Edomites and other Phoenicians--who seem to have been pre-eminently
the slave-traders of their time--importing slaves from Gaza, which was
then a great thoroughfare and commercial metropolis, and exporting them
to other points, were declared to be the most accursed of nations. So
now, the modern Edomites of this continent, who have again revived the
slave-traffic between Africa and this country, together with all who
aid, abet, patronize or excuse them, come under the curse so often
denounced against their ancient prototypes.

Under the kings, also, domestic slavery became more extensive, and its
influence more fatal. It did not yet, however, succeed in devouring the
vitals of the nation, or wholly destroying the small homesteads and
the free yeomanry, as it afterward did in Greece, and over almost the
entire ancient world under republican and imperial Rome. The epoch of
the kings is one of moral degradation and effeminacy on the one hand,
and of disasters and captivities to the Jews themselves, on the other.
Sensuality and general depravity flourished rank and wild under the
malignant influence of domestic slavery. Slavery relaxed the ties of
family and society among the Jews, as history shows it to have done in
every place and in all ages of its existence--for slavery, sensuality
and general depravity mutually engender and sustain each other. But in
their deepest and most helpless degradation, the Jews never sold the
offspring of their own personal lechery into slavery: this advance on
the turpitude of Hebraic slavery--this outrage on the humanity of the
faith we inherit from the Jews--was first justified and systematized
by the slave states of the great Republic of the West! In ancient as
in Christian times, there were doubtless parents who abandoned their
legitimate or illegitimate offspring to public mercy, to accident, or
to servitude; but all legislators have condemned such inhumanity, and
tried, if possible, to regulate and soften it. So, deliberate selling
of one's children may anciently have occurred in solitary instances;
but it was always and everywhere condemned as the sum of all infamies.

Many of the tutelary regulations for the slaves laid down in the law,
fell, it is true, into disuse, even as other parts of the law were
violated by the wayward and stiff-necked Israelites. On the advent
to power of the good Josiah, however, the violated commandments and
regulations of Moses, including those concerning the slaves, were
rigidly enforced, and a general reformation inaugurated.

The increase of wealth, the various modifications and changes generated
in the organism of society by its growth, as also by wars, captivities,
changes of government, etc., brought forth a new subordinate condition
in the domestic and civil life of the Hebrews--it was that of the
_client_, and belongs to the latter epoch of the kings. Theologians of
doubtful learning, and still more dubious honesty, argue that such
clients were slaves; but, in truth, the clients among the Hebrews
were no more the slaves of their patrons than the same class were
among the Romans or Gauls. The Hebrew client was a _subordinate_, but
_independent_; he was under the protection of his patron, but both
were bound by mutual obligations and prescribed conditions; and the
property and estate of the patron were often under the guardianship
of the client. Many expressions in the Scriptures, also, bearing on
the mission of the future Messianic servant of Jahveh, mean properly a
client, and not a slave or a chattel.

The old kingdom of Judea was overthrown in wars with Assyria and
Babylon; and the Jews were carried away as captives. These repeated
captivities chiefly befell the most wealthy and influential part of
the population. Such captives generally became political slaves, that
is, were deprived of political, though not of religious or civil
rights, and were not made domestic slaves or chattels. They became the
property of the king or of the state; but were not individually subject
to be scattered or sold; in fact, they became colonists, and lands
were assigned them in some part of the empire. Thus Tiglath-Palassar
colonized certain regions north of Nineveh with Hebrews; and Sargon (or
Sargina) transplanted others to Media. In the Babylonian captivities
their condition was precisely similar: thus, when Cyrus liberated
forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty Jews from captivity in
Babylon, there were among them only seven thousand three hundred and
eighty-seven slaves, or about one-sixth of the whole number.

Domestic slavery, as we have seen, made considerable havoc among
the Beni-Israel, and its life was continually recruited by wars and
the consequent ruin and impoverishment of the people, as well as by
other causes already pointed out. But down to the last breath of
the political and national existence of the Jews--to the day of the
destruction of Jerusalem and the hour of final dispersion--slavery
never succeeded in wholly destroying the humble homesteads of the free
rural population--as it did in other nations and empires of antiquity:
for example, it never extirpated the free agricultural yeomanry in
Palestine as it afterward did in the Roman world, from the Atlantic to
the Euphrates. The free population was mostly devoted to agriculture,
and possessed homesteads; and these small free homesteads were regarded
almost as sacred--even kings could only by violence seize upon the poor
man's farm.

Little Palestine, to the East, swarmed like a beehive with people,
notwithstanding captivities, calamities, and exterminating wars. At
the time of David, the kingdom of Palestine was about the size of
the present kingdom of Portugal, and had a population of about three
million eight hundred thousand. Under Solomon, his son, fifty-three
thousand six hundred foreign-born slaves worked at the construction of
the temple, most of whom, probably, were the property of the king or
of the state--not private chattels. If we allow that the number of
Jewish-born slaves of both sexes and of all ages was even four times
as large (which is not at all likely, considering the source and means
of supply of slaves), it will give only two hundred and sixty-eight
thousand slaves of every type, in Judea, or one-fourteenth part of the

How corrupt soever the law and its regulations became, both,
nevertheless, remained a check upon domestic slavery. Long previous to
the terrible Flavian epoch, the Hebrews were thickly scattered over the
eastern and western world, not as exported slaves, but as wanderers
and adventurers: there may, indeed, have been slaves among them, but
such slaves formed the minority. Strangers, indeed, they were, but free
according to then existing municipal limitations. It was the surplus
of a free population that thus wandered abroad in search of better
fortunes--a phenomenon which is reproduced in the present day by the
immigration to America of the surplus population of various European
states. So large was this emigration that, in the time of Cicero, the
Jews, Italians and Greeks formed the principal nationalities that
took part in the tumults of the Roman forum, and on one occasion they
hooted Cicero while on the rostrum. The great and striking fact of
the preservation of the people of Beni-Israel, and its increase at
an epoch when the populations of other countries were slowly dying
out, is to be attributed solely to the curb which the law imposed on
domestic slavery, and which it partially maintained even in the times
of the greatest national decay.

On our knowledge of the internal organism and economy of the Hebrews,
may be based certain deductions as to the domestic economy of other
contemporaneous nations, especially those of Syria and certain parts of
west Asia. Lydia, and above all, Babylon and Assyria are historically
known only in the last stages of their existence, when political and
domestic slavery had almost completely fused themselves together.
For earlier times, the sources of investigation are limited, if not
altogether wanting, and analogy alone can guide research. It is,
however, probable that only the Mosaic law remained to combat and
regulate serfdom and slavery with moral and legal weapons. The Hebrews
did not possess, and did not transmit to history, any of the products
of a brilliant civilization or of a refined culture such as reaches us
in echoes from the antique oriental empires. But the Hebrews were, at
the same time, endowed with certain spiritual impulses, aspirations
and ideas, far grander than those of any of the surrounding nations.
Material civilization and culture cannot be considered as the highest
manifestation of man's spirit. History presents examples of the
development of the noblest human impulses to a degree out of all
proportion with the so-called "civilization" of the nation.

The authority of the Scriptures is invoked as absolute sanction for
the enslavement of one branch of the human family; and the theological
right to enslave the African is based on the well-known words of
Noah: "Cursed be Canaan: a servant of servants shall he be unto his
brethren." The general import of these words, however, even in the
strictest construction, has rather a reference to their degradation as
a caste--exemplified in the case of the swineherds among the Egyptians,
or the Çudras (Soudras) among the Hindus--either of which, however,
were chattels deprived of human and family rights.

Modern criticism, guided chiefly by the light of comparative philology
and ethnology, has established beyond any doubt the genuine meaning of
the patriarchal names of Scripture. Down to Abraham, or at the utmost
to Terah his father, all those names bear an ethnical or geographical
signification. Abraham, however, is an historical person, and with him
positive Jewish history opens.

Moses and the other writers of the book of Genesis were educated among
the highly learned and scientific Egyptians; and in Palestine they came
in contact with a highly advanced civilization among the Canaanites or
Phoenicians, Arabians, and Nabatheans, who were then in the full tide
of life and action. From these kindred Shemitic peoples the Hebrews
learned the use of written characters; and many of the scientific
discoveries of these epochs are dimly preserved in the Mosaic record,
as also the general outlines of the ethnic knowledge of the age.
Moses and the other writers did but record the various geographic and
ethnic names which came to their ears, and for this no inspiration was
necessary. Modern scientific criticism, guided by the inductions of
reason--that grandest product of the hand of God--now infuses living
spirit into what was for ages a dead and incomprehensible letter.
This can be easily elucidated by a few examples. The word Ham, or
_Erez-Cham_, has no root or meaning in Hebrew or any other Shemitic
dialect; it was doubtless borrowed from the Egyptians, and to Egypt
must we go for the solution of its signification. Other Biblical
names, as, for example, _Eber_, _Pheleg_ or _Peleg_, _Reu_ or _Rehu_,
_Serug_ and _Nahor_, represent distinct Shemitic tribes, or, as the
record tropically styles them, kingdoms and states, of Mesopotamia
(Naharaina). _Eber_, or more properly, _Heber_ (whence our "Hebrews"),
signifies "the stranger" or "a person from the other side," that is,
one who came from a foreign region. _Aram_ also implies an immigrant
from the other side of the Euphrates. So, likewise _Misraim_ (the
_Misr_ or M-R of the Egyptians), _Cush_, _Phut_ and _Lud_, constituted
distinct tribes and nations in widely distant regions, and perhaps
even belonged to different races, according to accepted schemes of
ethnology. _Lud_ answers to the Libyan _Lewatah_, the _Leguatan_ of
the Byzantine writers, and the classical _Garaman_. _Phut_ and _Lud_
belong to Africa; they are brothers of Mizraim, or its nearest ethnic
relations in the remotest antiquity, or perhaps closely allied but
independent tribes--as the Scriptures generally record tribes and
states politically and geographically independent. _Phut_ and _Lud_
are also mentioned as the allied troops of the Egyptians, or of the
Syrians. Finally _Lud_ (_Ludim_) descends from Mizraim; so it may be
that they were a branch of the Egyptian stem, just as the Irish are an
offshoot of the Gallo-Celtic stock, or the Anglo-Saxons of the Teutonic

The curse of Noah was hurled against _Canaan_. The philological and
ethnic signification of this name has already been explained. The
Canaanites, although themselves but an elder branch of the Shemitic
family, were the enemies of Beni-Israel, who conquered them and
drove them from their land and homes. There is thus a manifest logic
in the writer of this part of Genesis condemning them to eternal
servitude--for it was written after the subjugation of the Canaanites.
Indeed, the same policy of enslavement was pursued by almost all the
ancient conquering nations in the flush of their victorious battles;
and so, in later times, did the Longobards of Italy, the Goths and
Franks in Gaul and Spain, the Anglo-Saxons in Britain, and the Normans
in England and Ireland.

There seems to be no scientific doubt that the cursed Canaanites were
of the same family and stock as the Hebrews. After the most searching
and conscientious investigations in ethnology and philology, it is
impossible to regard the Canaanites or Phoenicians as other than
Shemites; and with this also coincide the Scriptures--their land of
Canaan is not in Africa. Who the _Cushites_ of antiquity were, has
likewise been already pointed out. And if, as some have attempted to
prove, the ancient Egyptians were not of the African race (according
to our modern designation), then they were the Chamites, Cushites,
etc., of Scripture. How, through them, the curse can be shown to reach
the genuine African, requires an effort of casuistry repulsive both
to logic and fact--nay, to the baldest common sense. Not the dimmest
shadow of authority can be tortured from the Scriptures for the
enslavement of the black or negro race. With somewhat sounder logic has
this curse of Canaan been applied, even in Christian times, and among
European nations, to classes kept in bondage by masters belonging to
the same race. Slavery, indeed, has been the common fate, in successive
epochs, of all human races and families; and the oppressor has never
been wanting in a pious plea. The so-called nobility of the mediæval
Christian ages considered the burghers and subdued laborers as being of
impure and degraded blood, and all over Europe they were held to be the
descendants of Ham. (Some old aristocratic European families even now
consider all who are not nobles to be of the degraded caste). According
to this construction of the Noachic curse, the foul taint even now
circulates not in the vein of the African slave, but in the veins
of the tyrants who oppress him. Neither the Egyptians, Phoenicians,
Hebrews, nor, indeed, any nation of antiquity, considered any special
race or tribe as absolutely predestined to eternal bondage. This
abominable conception is a putrid growth from mental, social and moral
decay. Even Moses had a black woman for his wife (not his concubine),
and, nevertheless, was admitted to converse with Jehovah.

The present historical investigation aims not at the vindication of
the African: science and history do this triumphantly for all honest
and intelligent minds. These pages have but in view to exhibit the
terrific havoc and devastation which domestic slavery brings on all
races, nations and civilizations, and to point out the complete analogy
of slavery as it existed in the past with that which still blasts our
country and our age. The leprosy of early Egypt, Syria and Judea, was
the same as that which existed long centuries afterward in western
Europe; and so also is it with the social leprosy of the ages. And as,
in special conditions, a disease may assume a more deadly intensity,
so also do social maladies at times show themselves with increased
virulence. In antiquity, domestic slavery seized hold of all races and
all social and civil conditions: it was not exclusively fastened on any
special race. It may be for this reason that it ate but slowly into
the marrow of the antique civilizations. Now modern sophistry attempts
to give a divine and moral sanction to chattel slavery, and bases its
justice on the absolute and predestined inferiority of the _black
race_. But the natural work of slavery in destroying manhood, morals
and intellect, progresses with terrible rapidity in this country, and
is here receiving its most mournful illustration.

But what is the testimony of the highest scientific generalization
on this question, of the natural inferiority of the African? All the
authoritative names in comparative anatomy and physiology--Owen,
Flourens, Bachman, Muller, Haenle, Pritchard, Wagner, Vogt and Draper,
among them--together with men of the mental calibre and scientific
attainments of William and Alexander von Humboldt--men of every
variety of scientific theory, and discussing the question from every
possible stand-point--universally deny the existence of any absolute
inferiority of the negro race, or even any essential difference or
line of demarcation between the races at all! The physiological
and craniological differences which are so easily observed, do not
amount to a difference of _species_; and cerebral physiology makes
no essential distinction between the brain of a white man--even an
Anglo-Saxon--and that of a negro.

Still more groundless are the current assertions concerning the mental
inferiority of the African race. If such an inferiority really exists
at the present day, it is, at the utmost, but transient and conditional
in its nature. It can only be such an inferiority as for countless
centuries characterized the northern races in contrast to the southern.
While the former roved and fought as savages in the wilds and forests,
the latter were elaborating grand and harmonious civilizations. It
is difficult to imagine what would have been the condition of the
Germans--aye, even of the Anglo-Saxons--what kind of civilization they
would have inaugurated--without their Christian, Roman and Gallo-Celtic
inoculation. If it be urged that certain African tribes _are_ less
susceptible of culture, or less endowed with intellectual qualities
and capacities than certain white tribes or their offshoots--is it not
also the case that the offspring from the same parents may have widely
varying powers, tendencies and capacities; and that diverse tribes
and nations springing from the same ethnic source, have played very
different parts in the drama of universal history?

In the remotest antiquity, the great Gallo-Celtic stem actively
influenced the destinies of Europe, and a part of Asia; yet it is only
eighty years since the historian Pinckerton, speaking of _Ireland_ and
the _Irish_--those purest Celtic remains, said: "It is indeed a matter
of supreme indifference at what time the savages of a continent peopled
a neighboring island" (Ireland). This remark it would be difficult to
justify--although there are even now many Englishmen who consider the
genuine Irish an inferior race, and one, too, incapable of any high

The moral and mental growth of those Africans who were formerly slaves
in the British West Indies, shows the possibility of negro culture
under the influence of freedom. The official reports of the various
governors of these islands, show that, since emancipation, there has
been a rapid and steady growth of their prosperity; and the absolute
veracity which characterizes these reports of English agents to their
government cannot for a moment be doubted. In some of the islands,
such as Nassau and others, the products and revenues have increased a
hundred-fold, while the cost of administration (for keeping protective
fleets and repressive soldiery, needed now no more) has greatly
diminished. They also certify to a great increase in the imports
from England--their mother country in the noblest sense of the word.
Even the _export_ of sugar is nearly equal to what it was under the
forced labor of slavery, while _its intrinsic production has vastly
increased_--the domestic consumption far surpassing what it was in the
palmiest days of the planters. These are facts which only hypocrisy can
pervert, or perversion conceal.

With reference also to the question of the "viability" and longevity of
hybrids, mulattoes, etc., science protests against the fallacy which
the new pro-slavery apostles advocate. Facts confirm the deductions
of genuine science, and explode the fallacies of its counterfeit. The
Dominican Republic is almost entirely composed of a mulatto population,
which is now in its second or third generation, if not older. Neither
are these mulattoes dying out, but they are increasing by and
within themselves. No human white stallions are imported there from
slave-breeding regions to correct or keep up the breed.

If, however, there should still linger a presumption of the superiority
of the white over the black man, it must speedily vanish when the
arguments of the militant upholders of slavery--whether they be in
senatorial togas, in priestly robes, or in printer's ink--are subjected
to the analysis of impartial philosophy or common logic. A spurious and
depraved civilization is far more dangerous and degrading to society,
and more truly evidences positive mental inferiority, than does the
absence of civilization or the primitive savage condition. And this is
the more true when the subjects of such a spurious civilization have
within reach the elements of a genuine moral and social culture, but at
the same time spurn and depreciate them all. Such persons, whatever may
be their conventional position or ethnic descent, whatever the color
of their skin, the form of their skull, or the nature of their hair,
are singly and collectively inferior to the uncultivated and oppressed
and hence degraded negro; while in respect of justice, manhood, and all
that is ennobling, they make no approach to the millions of industrious
and intelligent farmers and free yeomanry, artisans, and mechanics of
the free states, still less with the higher manifestations of these
qualities in great and generous minds.

Neither in the Mosaic record, therefore, nor the native sense of
morality, still less in science, can any support be found for the
fallacies propounded by the apostles of American slavery. Science,
just and elevated in its intrinsic nature, deduces conclusions and
establishes laws with sublime impartiality, extenuating naught,
and setting down naught in malice. The normal character of every
science, always and forever, is _emancipatory_. Science emancipates
the mind from prejudices, falsehoods, and superstitions, and from the
tyranny exercised over man by the elements and forces of nature, as
well as from the far more malignant forces of social oppression. It
is doubtless this divine character of true science which makes it so
repulsive to the apostles of human degradation.


[Footnote 7: The old colonial customs and legal regulations in
America, fully confirm the above statements. _White_ servants, with
or without indenture, were kept in bondage by their masters, as were
other chattels, and sometimes, though rarely, these servants were even
sold. Without, therefore, going back to any European origin, it may
be peremptorily asserted that it is comparatively a short time since
the sires of many haughty militant slavery defenders were bondsmen on
American soil.]

[Footnote 8: Flavius Josephus says, that under the Herods, Judea
contained double the population established by the census of David.
Perhaps this account is exaggerated; but, at any rate, it shows a great
and positive increase.]




_Lassen, Quatremère, Laborde, Oppert, Chwolsohn, Perceval, etc._

In the gray morning of time, behind the obscurity hovering over the
origin of Assyria, and preceding even the first great epoch of Babylon,
dawns the fully-developed Nabathean civilization. In proportion as
scientific investigation imagines it has reached a positive epoch in
the ethnology and history of our race, a new cloud ever rises behind
it, which is but of this service--unerringly to indicate the limits of
the space already investigated. Thus legends, traditions, and tracings
sink helpless and hopeless into mythus, and the investigator is lost in
the "dark backward and abysm of time." The Eastern legends hanging over
Fore-Asia (or the lands between the Himalayas and Assyria), present
traditions of epochs and civilizations which had traversed the periods
of youth, maturity, and decline, before Brahmins, Assyrians, or Hebrews
even dawned on the historical horizon.

The Nabatheans are supposed to have been Shemites or pure Chaldeans.[9]
They dwelt in ancient Mesopotamia, between the Euphrates and the
Tigris, and also in what afterward constituted a part of Syria and
Assyria; and their branches or colonies extended to Arabia and to
eastern Mesopotamia. They were probably the primitive white dwellers
in these regions, and the founders of Babylon and of her first--almost
pre-historic--epoch of glory, down to the time when they were conquered
by the Assyrians or by Aryanized Nabatheans and Chaldeans.

According to ancient eastern writers, they invented and taught to their
neighbors the art of tilling the soil, and from this circumstance
they are said to have derived their name. At all events they were
the primitive cultivators of these lands, and agriculture seems
to have been their principal pursuit and mode of livelihood. This
highly-flourishing Nabathean civilization underlaid the Assyrian
and second Babylonian civilizations, and powerfully influenced the
primitive Hebrew writers. _Arphaxad_, mentioned in Genesis, signifies
in Chaldaic, _stronghold_, _city_, _civilization_, and this, too, at
the earliest so-called patriarchal epoch. To the Nabatheans belongs the
great work of irrigating Euphratia, by which these heretofore barren
and uncultivated plains were made, for more than forty centuries, the
most fertile region of the ancient world. It is asserted, too, by the
oldest authorities, that their language was highly developed at a time
when the other Shemitic tribes and nations only lisped their rude
tongue, or attempted to spell the symbols invented, in all probability,
by the Nabatheans. Some attribute to them the invention of the
arrow-headed characters, while others suppose that the Assyrians (of
whom hereafter), first devised them, or at all events, first applied
this Tartar invention for the use and preservation of the Nabathean
language. Fragments from the writings of Kouthai--a Nabathean, who
lived long before the destruction of Nineveh--show that most of the
sciences, such as mathematics, astronomy, chronology, etc., were
cultivated by them to a high degree, and that they were great lovers of
music and other fine arts.

Their historical records are far richer and more complete than any
other existing records which relate to those distant and as yet all but
incomprehensible epochs and events. In these relics many details of the
early life of that time are embodied, principally relating, however,
to agriculture, and from which, doubtless, the Greek writers, as
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Strabo, derived their knowledge of the
superiority and paramount importance of Nabathean agricultural science,
on which, as already remarked, their whole civilization was based.
Nowhere, however, in these venerable Nabathean fragments is _slavery_
or the _slave_ ever mentioned, and still less as constituting the basis
of domestic husbandry and field labor; but _freemen_ and _freeholders_
only are alluded to as cultivating the land and reaping the rewards of
their toil; thus furnishing an additional and most forcible proof that
human _slavery is not coeval with the existence of society_.

Indeed, it may be stated as a general rule, clearly confirmed by
history, that agriculture never can flourish under slave labor, nor
even under villanage. It never did so in antiquity and it never has
done so in modern times. In proportion as Egypt, Syria and Assyria fell
a prey to political servitude and her twin-sister, or rather generator,
domestic slavery, did their agriculture deteriorate and decay. In
proportion as the nations of modern Europe have emerged from slavery
and serfdom, has agriculture become a civilizing agency, progressive,
rational and scientific. England, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium
and Flanders, are living witnesses thereof; and, on the other side,
Poland, Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Danubian Principalities--all
possessed of the most fertile soils--scarce emerge from social,
political and rural barbarity. The Moors and the Moriscoes were not
slaves when they cultivated Andalusia in a manner never equalled. And
what a wide difference between the agriculture of the free and slave
sections of the United States! and that too, though the region of slave
culture enjoys advantages both in climate and soil. The halting and
uncertain advances made in the slave country, are but dimly breaking
rays from the free, enlightened northern states.

Thus do the oldest and the newest teach one lesson and tend to one


[Footnote 9: In contradistinction to Aryanized Shemites or Chaldeans,
known as Assyrians and Babylonians of the second epoch, and modern

Ethnology and comparative philology everywhere discover similar
bifurcations almost at the sources of ethnic life. These bifurcations
are explained by natural growth and by the fusion of various tribes
and nations. Thus Baktrya, Persia and Media present us with Aryas
and Indo-Scythes or Aryanized Tartars. So, too, all primitive races
divide and subdivide in the same manner within themselves. The Shemites
divided into Chaldeans and Canaanites, and then into Arabs, Hebrews,
etc. The Aryas divided first into two groups--the eastern, from which,
in turn, sprang the Zend and Sanscrit-speaking Aryas or Iranians and
Hindus--and the western group, ancestors of the various European races.
Of these latter, one branch immigrated into Greece and Italy, there
giving rise again to Ionians and Dorians, Italiots and Latins, and the
Greek and Latin languages; while another formed the Gaels or Gadheals
and Kimri, the Gadhealic and the Brizonec being the principal dialects.
Then we have their offshoots--as Belgæ, Kimbro-Belgæ, Finnic-Belgæ,
etc. So also the Slavic stem, split into Serb, Wendish, etc.]




_Rawlinson, Duncker, Oppert, M. von Niebuhr, etc._

The mighty empire of the Assyrians, which constitutes one of the first
links in the chain of positive history, has hitherto been best known by
the great catastrophes which finally closed its existence. The Hebrew
Scriptures testify to the wealth, the luxury, and the military power
of the Assyrians; but neither these nor the fragments in other ancient
historical writers, dispel the obscurity enveloping the interior
organism of that great antique people. Neither do the outlines of
Babylonian history given by Herodotus afford much insight into the
details of her social structure.

In that fore-world which history has not yet penetrated, the region
between the Mediterranean sea and the head-waters and affluents of the
Euphrates and the Tigris, formed the theatre of a tumultuous confusion
of races, nations and civilizations, which has no parallel in the
known history of mankind. Social and ethnic structures of the most
heterogeneous kind covered those regions, with their various creeds,
theocracies, municipalities monarchies and despotisms of every degree.

When, about fifteen centuries B.C., history unveils the empire of
the Assyrians or Ninevites, their dominion extended in a direct line
from the head-waters of the Euphrates and Tigris to the mouths of
those rivers; on the north-east, also, they ruled over Media (thus
touching the Caspian), and from thence their dominion stretched across
Armenia, southern Caucasus and Georgia, westward to the mouth of the
river Halys (the modern Kizil-Ermak), in the Black Sea, and embraced
also Palestine, Phoenicia and Kilikia. As the dynasty of Ninus once
ruled over Lydia, it is probable that the Ninevite empire at one time
extended over at least a part of Asia Minor, as far as the Egean Sea.

This great Assyrian empire rose on the ruins of Babylon, which was once
her master, and which was also far superior to her in antiquity.

History has preserved the names of some of the races and tribes
which may here at one time have dwelt side by side, but which were
subsequently conquered and ruled by the more powerful nation.
History, we say, has preserved some, and comparative philology is
constantly disentangling others from the chaos of antique Mesopotamian

The Assyrian and Babylonian empires stand recorded in the history of
humanity as having been the cradles of Eastern despotism and political
slavery. How this terrible tyranny arose in Assyria there are no means
of ascertaining. Doubtless there were a number of conspiring causes,
just as many rills unite to form a powerful stream. In the history
of Rome, fortunately we shall be able clearly to seize the genesis
of her despotism, and exhibit the germ as well as the wreck of her
social structure. Reasoning from all historic analogy, however, it may
safely be asserted that Assyrian despotism was generated by war, while
political bondage nursed and fostered domestic chattelhood. Evil ever
reproducing its own substance and shadow!

The social and domestic economy of the Assyrians must, in its general
features, have been similar to that of the Nabatheans and Hebrews.
In the course of time, domestic slavery may, to some extent, have
been developed in both empires; but even in the last stages of their
independent existence, it could not have reached that terrible point
it attained after the loss of their autonomy. Assyria and Babylon fell
by the blows of nations who were themselves subdued and politically
enslaved. To the last, however, neither their lands nor cities
were ever devastated or desolated. Their civilization remained in
a flourishing condition to the last, and historically it stands as
_original_. But original civilizations are never germinated under the
influence of domestic chattelhood. The plains of the Euphrates must
have been the hive of a rural population whence the imperial armies
were supplied, and these supplies could not have been in the form of
chattels. In ancient cities, manufactures and industry were often
carried on by slaves; but when domestic slavery established itself in
the rural regions, the national forces soon became palsied.

The tribes and countries conquered by Assyria and Babylon were simply
made tributary to their wealth and power. Prisoners of war were, in all
likelihood, disposed of in the same manner as they were in Egypt, and
as was the custom all over the ancient world, and indeed, for several
centuries in Christendom--employed in the public works, in the cutting
of those canals whose traces are still visible, or in raising walls,
palaces and public edifices, all of which are now covered mountain high
with the dust of ages. Thus Sargon (or Sargina), for example, employed
prisoners of war in constructing the vast palaces of Khorsabad.

Assyrian and Babylonian history records repeated transportations
of whole populations from one part of the empire to another. The
condition of such captives on becoming colonists has already been
explained in the section upon the "Hebrews." It would seem that the
kings of Assyria and Babylon first inaugurated this mode of wholesale
transportation, captivity and colonization. Thus Tiglath-Palassar
deported the inhabitants of Damascus to Kur in Georgia; and Assardan
sent off, _en masse_, Babylonians, Arkeans, Susianians, Elamites,
Persians and Daheans (Tartars), some north and others south. All such
transplantments begot destruction, desolation and the breaking up
of homesteads; and thus fostered domestic slavery, facilitated its
expansion, and increased its fatal influence over both the conquered
and the conquerors. And finally, they prepared the soil for that
poisonously luxuriant growth of slavery by which Mesopotamians and
Syrians became the general bondmen of classical antiquity.

After the destruction of the Assyrian capital (Nineveh) by the revolted
nations, Babylon became the centre of a new empire. The rule of
Nabukudrussur (a Chaldean from Babylon), extended from the mountains of
Armenia to the Arabian shores of the Red Sea, and to the Persian Gulf.
This again is a record of perpetual war, and was, in all respects, a
continuation of the Ninevitian period of desolation and captivity.
Prisoners of war again filled the capital, and worked at the walls and
palaces of Babylon. The rich valleys were no longer cultivated by free
laborers, but were in the hands of large slaveholders, and tilled by
their gangs of slaves.

Babylon fell, destroyed by war, combined with political and domestic
slaveries, and she transmitted both diseases to her destroyers.


[Footnote 10: The philological analysis of the arrow-headed characters
and inscriptions discovered in the ruins of Nineveh (Khorsabad) and
of Babylon, and on various other spots of the ancient Persian empire,
give us some idea of the various ethnic elements which composed the
Assyrian and Babylonian empires. Probability, founded on comparative
philology, attributes the invention of the arrow-headed characters to
a Tartar (Scythic) people or race. Transmitted, in all likelihood,
from people to people; increased, fused in usage and application by
various languages and dialects, these cuneiform characters--as used
for Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian inscriptions--are now ethnically
and philologically classified into two main divisions--the Anaryan
and the Aryan. The Aryan comprises the Old Persian; the Anaryan of
the Ninevite relics is the result of thirteen ethnic and philologic
combinations, and was used by the five following peoples, all known to
history. 1. Medo-Scythians; 2. Casdo-Scythians; 3. Susians; 4. Ancient
Armenians; 5. Assyrians. The following are the thirteen combinations:
1. Pure hieroglyphs; 2. Hieratic signs--neither yet arrow-headed; 3.
Old Scythic or Tartar arrow-heads; 4. New Tartar (new under Assyria);
5. Old Susian; 6. New Susian; 7. Old Armenian; 8. New Armenian; 9. Old
Assyrian; 10. New Assyrian; 11. Old Babylonian; 12. New Babylonian; 13.
Demotic Babylonian.--_Oppert._]




_Zend Avesta, Vendidad, Herodotus, Lassen, Pictet, Duncker, etc._

The Medes and Persians, or Zend-speaking Iranians, those destroyers of
the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, were a mighty branch of the great
family of Aryas. The Iranians left the common home of the Aryas at a
period so distant as to render useless every effort toward giving it
possible or even probable chronology. They settled in regions called by
them "Lands of Iran," which, up to the present day, constitute Persia.
Some investigators assert that Iran-Persia was previously occupied by
Tartars; but the earliest traditions preserved in the Zend, or ancient
speech of Zarathustra, do not mention any struggles for supremacy
between the races as having taken place.

The Zend Avesta, the oldest traditional record of the people of
Iran, presents a picture of the primitive migrations and the social
condition of the Iranians. It exhibits them as divided into three
classes--priests, soldiers and farmers; though, as yet, there was no
such thing as the circumscription of caste. It would seem that the
fusion with the Tartars--the supposed aborigines of Iran--was complete,
as the Zend Avesta makes no mention of any subjugated people or lower
class. The warriors and the agriculturists stood on a perfect social
equality. The book of tradition nowhere mentions serfdom, slavery,
or property in man. This would seem to authorize the conclusion that
among the early Iranians, property in man was unknown. Certainly, at
all events, if even the forms of slavery were present, they were in
such abeyance as to escape the attention of Zarathustra (Zoroaster),
the great moralist and lawgiver of his people, who lived long after
the epoch of the early wanderings, and when the Iranic nation formed
a well-organized society on Iran's soil. Zarathustra considers
agriculture as morally and socially the noblest human occupation; but
he speaks of the generous labor of freemen, not the forced drudgery of

The Vendidad contains frequent allusions to the general occupations of
life, and is especially minute regarding the details of husbandry--its
wants, modes, products and implements. The farmer is to have at
least a team of draught cattle, a harness and a whip; a plough, a
hand-mill, and so forth; but there is no mention whatever of a slave
as an agricultural requisite. The homestead of an Iranian consists of
a habitation, a storehouse, a cellar, stables for horses, camels and
cattle; but the records have no allusion to a cabin for the slaves. The
Vendidad also describes how dogs--almost sacred to the Iranians--are
to be posted to watch over the village and the herds; but nowhere
says that they were to be used for watching and hunting slaves.
Various operatives and artisans are enumerated, but none of them as
bond-servants or as working under compulsion.

The farmers, peasants and operatives of Media and Persia--so admired
even by Xenophon and Plato--thus built up a vigorous state and society.
After long centuries of existence, however, its strength was undermined
by foreign conquests, by luxury, and by political and domestic slavery.
A similar phenomenon will present itself again and again in the course
of this investigation. When the Medes overthrew the Assyrian empire,
they became infected with the dissolute customs of their former
masters. The houses of the wealthier were filled with domestic slaves;
though, as yet, slavery did not come in contact with agriculture or the
industrial pursuits, and so spread like a blight over the land.

Domestic slavery, in the limited sense of household servitude, was
doubtless ultimately introduced into Persia; but never was Persian held
as _chattel_ on his ancestral soil. Nor yet did despotism, or political
slavery, exist in the governmental structure of the Iranians, who, led
by Kyros (Cyrus), conquered the whole western Asiatic world. Kyros was
only the first among his peers, and was all-powerful only as a leader
and commander. He had not yet the despotic power of Xerxes and other
and later scions of the Achæmenides; and to the last, even to the
conquests by Alexander, the Iranic social structure was comparatively
free from domestic slavery. Nor were the Persians and other Iranian
tribes ever the absolute political slaves of their own kings.

The Persian conquerors of the Asiatic world found domestic slavery
more or less developed wherever they penetrated. Positive information,
however, is extremely scanty regarding the special social and political
organization of the Persians after Kyros and under Dareios. The rule of
the Achæmenides extended over about eighty millions of men, belonging
to various races. The conquerors, in all cases, respected the civil
and social organization and administration peculiar to the subjugated
tribes or nations. In numerous instances, the sovereigns of conquered
states became Persian satraps over lands they once ruled in their own
right. As satraps they were possessed of oppressive authority, had
the power of life and death, of forcing exactions and levying taxes.
But, as the Persian kings were, to the last, strict observers of
Zarathustra's precepts, agriculture always continued to be the most
favored pursuit. The satraps were rewarded with strict reference to
the degree in which agriculture flourished and the population grew and
prospered in their respective satrapies.

During the long rule of the descendants of Dareios, comparative
peace prevailed in the interior of the great empire, which swept
from the Nile almost to the Indus. So that domestic slavery did not
find its usual supplies from prisoners of war, or by the destruction
of small properties and consequent domestic impoverishment--those
terrible sequels of wars from which Fore-Asia had suffered almost
uninterruptedly for many previous centuries.

For these and other reasons, domestic slavery under the Persian rule,
although sheltered by political servitude, had but small growth and
made but slow progress. It certainly did not desolate the lands with
the blight and barrenness that afterward depopulated them under Roman

The tribute paid by the subdued nations to the Persian kings and their
court, included slaves--boys and girls--but in a limited number. The
slave-traffic existed as of old; but, in all probability, the supply
of the human merchandise was less plentiful. From political slaves,
but not domestic chattels, it was that the armies were recruited which
crossed the Hellespont and invaded Greece.

But, viewing the matter in the gross and scope of historical
development, political slavery and the blighting effects of the
oppressive despotism to which the Persians were long subjected, may
be looked upon as the soil out of which grew the morbid and monstrous
system of domestic slavery, just as external influences frequently
develop and foster the germs of a chronic and fatal bodily disease.




_Lassen, Wilson, Weber, Max Müller, Pictet, Kuhn, etc._

The central region of Baktria was in all probability the cradle of the
Aryas, the common progenitors of all the races and nations which now
cover Europe. In times anterior to the great pre-historic division and
separation of the Aryan races, they probably occupied the whole of the
vast region stretching from the Hindu-Kush, the Belourtagh, to the
river Oxus and the Caspian Sea. This, too, at a period of which it can
only be said that time existed.

The antique Aryas led a pastoral life. The original signification
of the words in the European languages denoting family and social
relations, as well as the names of domestic and other animals, of
grains and plants, of implements of husbandry and handicraft and the
like, is elucidated by roots found in Sanscrit, which is supposed to
have been the original language of the Aryas, or, at any rate, the one
which most completely preserved the primitive impress of the Aryan

"Father" (in Sanscrit, _pitri_), signifies "the protecting one, or
the protector;" "mother" (Sanscrit, _matri_), "she who regulates
or sets in order;" "daughter" (_duhitri_), "the milking one;"
"son" (_sunu_), "the begotten;" "sister" (_vastri_), "she who takes
care,"--subauditur, of household matters--also, "the bearer of a new
family;" "brother" (_brhatri_), "the helper, or carrier;" "youth"
(_yavan_) "the defender." So also, "horse" (_açva_), signifies "swift,
rapid;"[11] the name for the "bovine" genus, bull and cow (Sc., _go_,
_gaus_), "to sound inarticulately," likewise (_ukshan_) "fecundating,"
besides other names with other significations; the "ovine" genus, or
sheep kind (_avi_), implies "the loved, protected," etc.; the "dog"
(_'cvan_, _kvan_), means "the yelper, barker;" but he has also other
names denoting his qualities, as _sucaka_, "spy, informer," _krtagna_,
the "recognizing," or "grateful one," etc.; "goose," (_hansa_, from Sc.
_has_), "to laugh." So the roots for the general names of grains and
fruits are to be found in the Sanscrit; thus, _ad_, "to eat;" _adas_,
"nourishment;" _gr_, "to devour," whence _garitra_, "grain," "rice,"
etc. It may be noticed that derivatives from these and other roots
became applied, in branch languages, to various special kinds of grain;
thus, "oats," both in form and signification, is easily traced to a
Sanscrit root. So, too, the names of many metals, trees, plants and
wild animals, have their roots and descriptive meaning in the Aryan or
Sanscrit language; and comparative philology gives us the method of
seizing the affiliations of form and of meaning.

Words of the character pointed one and their primitive
significations--constituting the foundation of man's family and social
existence--followed the various ethnic branches issuing from the
Aryan and expanding over the ancient world. _But no root, no name, no
signification is to be found for a "servant" bearing the meaning of
"slave" or "chattel,"_ or expressive of a deprivation of the rights
of manhood or of human dignity. The primitive Aryan mode of life was
naturally patriarchal or clan-like, and the above-mentioned words
show that household and rural functions were performed by the members
of the family. What has been already said in another division (see
"Hebrews"), applies even more forcibly to the Aryas. The Sanscrit word
_ibha_, signified "family," "household," "servants," but _never slaves
or chattels_. Both its sound and sense are still perfectly preserved in
the Irish _ibh_, which signifies "country," or "clan;" _not enslaved
men_! The names of weapons, and other words relating to warfare, which
may be traced back to the Aryan speech, prove that the Aryas warred
with other tribes--perhaps with the Tartars; and all such foreign
enemies were comprehended under the collective Sanscrit denomination of
_barbara_, _varvara_, or "barbarians." But even here, where we should
most look for it, no hint or trace of slavery can be found.

The attempt, historically, to endow certain human families or races
with special fitness or capacity for freedom or slavery--or with a
fatality toward the one or the other, or toward certain fixed social
and political conditions--as well as the effort to divide the human
family into distinct physiological or psychological races--all
manifests a narrow appreciation of the course of human events; it
evidences a very limited knowledge of positive history, and perhaps
a still more limited philosophical comprehension of its spirit. If,
however, such classifications had any scientific basis, assuredly
the Aryas and the nations issuing from them had no natural, special
propensity either to be slaves or slave-makers.

It win be hereafter pointed out, that among the various branches of the
Aryas, or what are called Indo-Europeans, slavery was not a feature of
their primitive life, but was the result of a long subsequent epoch of
moral decay and degradation. It was at a comparatively late period of
their history and under precisely the same conditions, that the Romans
and Greeks began to enslave their own fellows. So was it with the Gaels
or Celts, and so also with the Slavi. The Poles were free from serfdom
till the thirteenth Christian century; the Russians only introduced it
toward the close of the sixteenth--and in both cases after dissension,
war, and desolation. The Teutons alone (Anglo-Saxons included), seen
in the light of primitive history, had slavery in their household and
in their national organism, and the slaves, too, of their own race and

The Aryas descended the slopes of Hindu-Kush and the Himalayas,
entering the region of the Five or of the Seven Rivers (Punjab),
wandered along the river Jamuna, on the line between Attock and Delhi,
successively spread over the whole region between the Indus and the
Ganges--and here begins their historical existence as a people.
In the course of this long march they conquered or drove before
them--seemingly without any great trouble, at least in the first
encounters, the aboriginal occupants of the Trans-Himalayan countries;
and this, too, before they reached what may be called the threshold
of history. Discords and wars early broke out among them, principally
caused by the continual pressure of northern immigrants upon the
possessors of the fertile countries in the south--caused, too, by the
struggles for supremacy between families or dynasties, when the tents
of the patriarchs had expanded into populous tribes, and almost into
nations; and also by the struggles of classes created in the effort to
subjugate the aboriginal inhabitants, especially those in the southern
parts of India. All these wars took place at a very early epoch, and
elude positive chronological division. Their history, as well as that
of the primitive Aryan or Hindu mode of life, and their earliest
spiritual conceptions, are pictured in the Vedas, which form the
background of the whole Indian world.

The gray and venerable Vedaic age is now divided by critics into four
periods: the Chhandas period, the Mantra period, the Brahmana period,
and the Sutra period.

The Chhandas period exhibits the purest patriarchal and peaceful
condition of the family. There were then no priests and no division
of classes; the father offered up simple sacrifices to heaven, and
the simple hymns and songs of the family resounded over the offering.
If the household contained any captive of the aboriginal race, such a
one, by renouncing his ancient customs and creed, and accepting the
language, the faith and the law of the conqueror, retained life and
comparative liberty. And, moreover, all ethnological investigations
confirm the belief that the aborigines of India were of the negro, or
what is commonly called African family. On this American continent the
kidnapped and enslaved African has accepted both the creed and the
language of his oppressor--but for him there is neither liberty nor law.

Not to enslave, but only to subdue--preserving, at least partially, the
rights of the conquered--was the policy of the Aryas in their encounter
with barbarians. And in the domestic wars of tribes and dynasties which
yet dimly echo through the second or Mantra period, no traces of the
enslavement of their conquered enemies are to be found. In general, the
first two periods not only do not show any shadow of _slavery_ in the
domestic and social relations, but even the division into _classes_ or
_castes_ does not yet make its appearance. During the third or Brahmana
period, the Vedas give an account of the terrible and bloody struggle
which ended in the social and religious victory of the Brahmas, or
Brahmins, over the Kshatriyas, who had previously formed the ruling

The Brahmins now reorganized the religious and political structure of
the Hindus. They divided society into four classes or castes: (it is
to be noted here, however, that some modern exegetists assert that the
true meaning of the Sanscrit word _Varna_, for "caste," is not yet
clearly apprehended). These four castes were: 1. The Brahmins; 2. The
Kshatriyas; 3. The Vaisyas; 4. The Soudras, or Çudras. The first three
correspond to the classification already mentioned as existing among
the Iranians. The Çudras were the lowest and most degraded caste; still
they were not enslaved, not the property of any other caste, not even
of the Brahmins--those spiritual and political chiefs of the Hindus.
The labors of agriculture ennobled even the hands of the Brahmin, and
could not be performed by slaves nor under the compulsory terrors of a
master or driver.

As the word Çudras is not Sanscrit, it is supposed that it was the
ethnic name of the subdued aborigines of which the fourth caste was
composed. The offspring of a Brahmin and a Çudra was considered of
pure blood. The Brahminic law authorized the enslavement of persons
belonging to all the interior castes, for debt. Slaves may also have
been made in the wars with the southward retreating aborigines and
others; and slaves may occasionally have been sold in the markets, but
their number must have been very insignificant. Laws for the servitude
of the Çudras--if such existed even--must very soon have fallen into
disuse; for when Alexander brought Greece and Europe into contact with
India, the astonished Greeks found scarcely any slavery then existing.
Several of the Greek authors even assert that a positive law prohibited
any kind of enslavement.

Budha, the great precursor of the Christ, was moved to tears, affected
to inspiration, by the suffering and oppression which resulted from the
division of society into castes, and by the misery of the poor, who
were oppressed by the rich land-owner; but among the social and moral
plagues, Budha and his disciples enumerate not human slavery. As far as
the history of antiquity is known, Budha was the first whose religious
teaching broke through the narrow conception of nationality, and taught
universal emancipation and the brotherhood of all tribes and nations of

The oppression of the poor and of the landless, which then existed
in India, exists there still. It was strengthened by the terrible
Mahomedan and Mongol conquests, and by the iron rule of the British
East India Company. But the imposition by the Mahomedans and Mongols
of an oriental despotism over the Hindus did not implant domestic
chattelhood, nor did the English tax-gatherers ever cause Hindu
humanity to be exposed for sale in the markets or bazaars.


[Footnote 11: The Sanscrit has about one hundred and forty appellations
for the "horse" (mare and colt included); and comparative philology
demonstrates their primitive roots to be preserved in almost all
European languages.]




_The Biots, Kaeuffer, Gutzlaff, etc._

China belongs to the present and to the remotest past of the Asiatic
world. The historical existence of China and her civilization are at
least coeval with that of Egypt and of Assyria, perhaps older than that
of the Aryas.

Some geological investigators affirm that the table-land inclosed
between the northern slopes of the Himalayas, the Kuenlun, the
desert of Gobi--which is said to be older than the formation of the
Himalayas--the Heavenly or Blue mountains, and the Altaï, was the
first land which rose from the waters, and that therefore it was the
first, and perhaps the only place in the north, where man appeared.
This admitted, the probability is, that from that first human family
issued a race bearing to-day various appellations, as the Yellow, the
Altaïc, Turanian, Scythic, Finnic, Mongolian and Tartar--which is the
last general denomination adopted by science, at least for the branches
occupying central Asia, and reaching to the frontiers of Europe and
the descendants of the Aryas. The first immigrants to China from the
Kuenlun probably followed the current of the Yellow river; and it
seems that the aborigines retired before the invaders, or perhaps
the new yellow settlers mixed with the primitive occupants. In the
southern parts of China, in the mountains of the interior, are still
found tribes of dark-colored men resembling the negroes or the Pacific
islanders, and using notched characters similar to those used by the

Agriculture seems to have been the sacred occupation of these
yellow-hued settlers along the banks of the Yellow river--as it was in
the valley of the Nile, of the Euphrates, and on the plains of Iran.
Everywhere the origin of agriculture is lost in the night of time, and
Quain or Cain--that is, the kernel, the young, the generating, etc.,
the husbandman of the Scriptures--is many thousand years older than
Abraham, the wandering and slave-holding patriarch. The oldest Chinese
records show agriculture to have been the special occupation of the
father of a family, of the chief of a clan, and then of the emperor of
the entire nation. With his own hands he directs the plough--therefore
the plough could not have been desecrated by the hands of a slave. And
it was not. In the family, in the domestic as well as in the national
life, slavery first dimly appears only about the thirteenth century B.C.

In the remotest time, labor was, as it is now, the basis, the cement
and the soul of the Chinese social and political life and growth--and
by labor I mean, intellectual and manual labor in its most varied
departments and developments. No classes, no castes, existed in the
old primitive times; and perhaps, during many thousand years, no
dynasties. The best and ablest person was selected as the chief and
ruler: all the offices or functions were obtained by intellectual
faculty and by superiority of knowledge, but not inherited; and the
same system prevailed throughout all the occupations and pursuits of
life. No labor whatever was degraded or degrading; it was carried on by
men free and equal, and in principle recognized as such.

In China, as everywhere else, slavery appeared as a disease in the
social body. It was generated by war and crime. Prisoners of war and
condemned criminals became, so to say, slaves of the state, which
used them for public labors or hired them out to private individuals.
The highest officers of state, persons over seventy years old, and
children, could not be condemned to slavery, excepting children exposed
or abandoned by their parents. Slaves hired by private individuals
were only used as helps or servants in households and families. But
most of the servants were always freemen--they are so now; and slaves
never were used in agriculture or in the different handicrafts. The
land being generally considered as the property of the state, or of
the emperor, the sovereign divided, distributed it, under certain
conditions and servitudes, for tribute in money or kind, etc. But
slaves are not mentioned among the various objects enumerated as
constituting the tribute. The increase of population generated
poverty, and paupers sold and still sell themselves or their children
into slavery. Repeated domestic or internecine wars, recorded at a
very distant historical epoch, were among the prominent agencies in
increasing poverty. Impoverished persons and those deprived of their
homes either sold themselves or became serfs attached to the soil,
but not chattels. As serfs their legal condition and denomination is
preserved in the books written about the twelfth century B.C., by
Ma-tuan-lin--they are named _usurped families_ or _usurpees_. Even
after the conquest by the Mantschou Tartars, chattelhood did not get
hold of the political structure, nor did it absorb the agricultural
and industrial domestic economy of the Chinese. With the exception of
the reigning family, no social position or function is privileged as
hereditary; and in the same way, accidental slavery was not transmitted
to the children of the enslaved. Their condition was and is controlled
and regulated by law, which watches over the property of the state.
Among the numerous domestic wars there are never recorded any revolts
of slaves--an evidence of their very limited number.

Over-population generated and generates the most terrible and varied
oppressions and miseries; but all of them lose their sting when
compared with chattelhood. Over-population and misery generated the
so-called coolie-system, which in principle is based on voluntary
indenture. The reckless cruelties and the numerous infamies
characterizing the manner in which the coolie trade is carried on, is
evidence of the utter moral degradation and depravity of the white
civilized Christian traders, and the inefficiency of their respective

The Chinese civilization is commonly looked down upon from the heights
of narrow-minded presumption and ignorance. About three thousand years
B.C., public schools existed in China, and a full scientific and
material culture prevailed there. Chinese records (among them the Books
of the Sehu Kings), going back, perhaps, as far as two thousand five
hundred years B.C.--contain the most correct and detailed statistical
accounts of tribute, and give most reliable geographical notions of
China, and of the subdued and neighboring countries--notions superior
in exactitude to all similar records transmitted from classical
antiquity. The Chinese lived in houses, in orderly communities, were
humanized, polished, familiar with the sciences, industries, and all
kinds of refinements, at a time, and during countless centuries, when
the races of northern Europe--prominently the Slavi, the Germans, the
Anglo-Saxons included--did not, in all probability, even understand how
to construct huts, and, as savages, roved about in the wilderness.

In a work written by Prince Tscheu-Kong, about one thousand one hundred
years B.C., are given the most minute details of the then existing
organization of the empire. The administrative mechanism of that
distant epoch finds no equal in the whole history of governments or of
nations. Several thousand years ago the empire was administered by
six supreme state departments, each with perfectly defined attributes,
each subdivided into special branches, with directors and all orders
of lower officials and functionaries. Chinese civilization passed its
periods of youth and maturity many thousand years ago; and its senility
has not yet reached total decrepitude. It crumbles not to pieces even
now in its comparatively disjointed and disorganized condition.

No one can consider China in any way a model social organism; but its
duration is marvellous and unequalled in the history of the race.
The absence of hereditary privilege and of chattelhood as social
or religious institutions, accounts, among other reasons, for this
unique phenomenon. With all its drawbacks and defects, this long-lived
civilization, with its schools, its general intelligence, its
thousands-of-years old routine, compares, in many respects, favorably
with that in the Southern States calling itself Christian, which,
having partly inherited the great European development, and receiving
influences from the free sections of the Union, has, nevertheless,
for the last thirty or forty years, turned on its own crooked tracks,
and, now prohibits, under severe penalty, schools for the children
of its field laborers, whom it keeps in bondage. It sighs also for a
further extension of oligarchic privileges, and for the enslavement
of all human labor: re-enslaves the free or expels them; legalizes
and sanctifies the sum of all social villanies: whose last word is
the Lynch law, and the reckless, lawless persecution of free speech
and even of free thought; while assassination becomes more and more

In the most ancient Asiatic world, the primitive societies generally
had analogous beginnings, whatever may have been the regions and
climates cradling them, whatever the difference of time, epochs, or
race-characteristics. Analogous events and conditions evoked similar
developments in the primitive men. The manifestations of man's
intellectual and physical activity were everywhere spontaneous: a
transmission of the various rudiments of civilization cannot logically
be admitted.

Osiris, Cain, Yao, were urged by like necessities, when they
inaugurated agriculture in Egypt, in Euphratia, or along the valleys of
the Yellow river. On the Nile, on the Euphrates, on the Ganges, on the
Hoang-ho, man--red or black, white or yellow--observed nature, utilized
even the inundations, regulated and embanked the beds of rivers, cut
canals and trenches to irrigate the parched soil. Everywhere--and
certainly without imitating each other--but urged by surrounding
circumstances, man worked, toiled, constructed habitations with the
materials at hand--stone in Egypt; bricks, plaster, wood, etc., in
Babylonia and China; raised cities in rich and fertile plains, erected
edifices, and invented characters and signs to fix and to transmit to
others ideas, notions and facts. Whatever may have been the special
nature and form of these characters, whether hieroglyphics or
phonetics, etc., undoubtedly they were original and not transmitted
creations. These inventions arose at places separated by distances then
almost impassable, by the same necessities and thoughts, by observation
and imitation of nature, and by many other inner and outer promptings
and circumstances. The rudiments of mathematics, astronomy, and other
sciences, were created by this contact of man's mind with nature;
and it is difficult, if not impossible, to admit that Egyptians or
Chaldeans were the instructors of the Aryas or of the Chinese, or _vice

Of late an attempt has been made to justify American chattelhood by
the fact that at the birth of Christ, half of the population of the
Roman empire--about sixty millions--groaned under domestic slavery.
This estimate may be below the true mark; but the humanity whose
emancipation or redemption was to be accomplished, was not limited to
the Roman world. For, from Iran and the Indus to the Kuenlun ridges,
dwelt a population five or six times greater than that which populated
the Roman empire, and that, too, almost unvisited by that terrible
social plague which is now represented as being a divine blessing.
Whatever may have been the other multiform social calamities which
befell them--wars, massacres, destructions, impoverishments, and
desolations--are, after all, but transient visitations; while American
chattelhood, as devised by its apostles, eternally degrades both master
and chattel.




_Polybius, Grote, O. Muller, Beckh, Curtius, Clinton, Finlay, etc._

At the foot of the Julian Alps, above the head of the Adriatic, the
branch of the Aryas which peopled Greece separated from their brethren
who wandered into Italy. Keeping to the coast of Adria, the seceders
reached the mountainous gorges of Epirus and the plains of Thessaly.
From the southern slopes of the Cambunian mountains and of Olympus,
they, in course of time, spread over Greece and Peloponnesus. Such at
least are the results of the most recent researches concerning the
pioneers whose labors prepared that region for the part it afterward
played in history. They cleared the forests, drained the marshes, cut
canals to let out the stagnant waters in mountain-basins so common
in Greece; they regulated the currents of rivers and streams, made
the soil arable, and the region fit for man and for further culture.
These primitive cultivators of the valleys of Greece, and builders
of the Cyclopean structures, called themselves, or were called by
others, _Pelasgi_ (that is, _those issuing from black soil, etc._),
and are regarded as the earliest occupants of Hellenic soil. They
were the first settlers, and most probably offshoots of the same
original stem whose successive branches mingled with the Pelasgi, or
crowded them out and took their place in history as Achives, Hellenes,
and Ionians--the last being considered been ancient as well as by
modern writers as having been the autochthones of Attica and of other
neighboring regions. To these Pelasgi and other primitive occupants,
to their laborious pursuits and occupations, to their simple social
structure, as well as to the essentially primitive social life of the
Greeks, Herodotus refers--asserting that at the outset slavery was
unknown in Greece, and especially in Attica.

The Pelasgian epoch was succeeded by what is commonly called the
legendary or heroic age. In this Homeric epoch free yeomen or
agriculturists own and till the soil; all the handicrafts and
professions are free. Carpenters, smiths, leather-dressers, etc., were
all freemen, and so also were the bards and "the leeches" (a highly
esteemed class in primitive Greece). But wealth already began to
accumulate, and the farms of the more fortunate were tilled by poor
hired freemen called Thetes.

The geographical conformation of Greece furnished, as it still
does, a natural incitement to war and piracy. Both formed prominent
characteristics of the heroic times. Phoenician vessels visited the
shores, and Phoenician settlements and factories were built at various
points. These traffickers, perhaps, taught the Greeks that the feeble
may be profitably enslaved by the strong, or at any rate they were the
customers of the Greek pirate.

The general Greek word for slave explains the origin of slavery.
_Dmoos_ and _dmoe_, slave, go back to _dmao_ or _damao_, to subdue,
to subjugate, and so bear witness of war and violence either between
individuals, or between clans, tribes, and districts, and then of
incursions into distant lands. Slavery became an object of luxury,
but not of social and economical necessity. It was confined to the
dwelling of the chiefs and the sovereign; but did not invade the
whole community. Leaders of freebooting expeditions seized every
kind of booty, taking as many prisoners as they could on sea and on
land. If the expedition or foray failed, the chief and his followers
became, in their turn, prisoners and slaves. The prisoners were
employed for domestic use within the precincts of the dwelling, as
servants, shepherds, etc., or were sold or exchanged for others.
The Phoenicians sold Asiatics or Libyans to Greeks and to Pontian
barbarians, and received in exchange the prey made by Greeks in Greece
or in Pontus. The Phoenicians occasionally kidnapped women and boys
and sold them to Asiatics, Africans, and Celt-Iberians. Then, as
everywhere throughout remotest and classical antiquity, many of the
enslaved had previously belonged to the higher and even the highest
conditions in their respective tribes, nations, or communities. So
Eumæus, the swineherd of Ulysses immortalized by Homer, was the son
of a chief of some island or district, who, having been kidnapped by
Phoenicians, was sold to Laertes. In mediæval times, likewise, the
prisoner taken on the battle-field and kept for ransom, if not for
service, often was superior in birth and station to his keeper. No such
social classifications, however, are intrinsic or normal, but only
conditional, relative, and conventional, even when inherited. Logically
they have the same signification and value in a well-graduated society,
with its castles, palaces, charters and other privileges, as on
plantations or among roving nomads and savage tribes. And thus, among
the Southern slaves, descending from prisoners of war or from kidnapped
Africans, there may be several of a purer aristocratic lineage than
many of their drivers, even if the latter were F.F.V.

Enfranchisement, manumission, and ransom were largely practised
in legendary Greece. The children of freemen by slave-women were
free, and equal to those of legitimate birth. Most of the wars and
expeditions during the heroic or Achivian piratical epoch, were made
for the sake of kidnapping men and women, to sell or to exchange with
the Phoenicians for various luxuries. Such was the general origin of
slavery at the time when history throws its first rays on the Grecian

Many defend slavery on the plea that it softened and softens the
results of wars and inroads; that prisoners, once slaughtered, are
preserved for the sake of being sold into slavery. But already, during
the so-called heroic age of Greece, wars and forays were made for the
express purpose of getting captives or for kidnapping. The robber
or pirate was always sure to find a buyer for his booty, otherwise
he would have had no inducement to act. And thus slavery, instead of
softening war, was its very source. The Greeks of the heroic age were
incited to make inroads and depredations by the facility and security
they had of profitably disposing of their captives by selling them
into slavery. The bloody drama played, many, many centuries ago, in
Peloponnesus and Greece, on the Ionian and Egean seas, and among the
islands of the Archipelago, is repeated to-day on both sides of the
Atlantic--on African and on American shores and islands. The tribes
in Africa war with each other, destroy and burn towns and villages,
expressly and exclusively because they find customers for slaves among
Christians, and among self-styled civilized, humanized white men. Thus
much for the assertion that American slavery contributes to soften
the fate of prisoners of war in Africa, and humanizes the savages.
It bestializes them, together with their piratical purchasers and
their Southern patrons. The analogy holds good here, at a distance of
many thousand years and many thousand miles, among different social
conditions, in a different civilization, and in the higher moral
development of the white man.

New invasions successively rolled over the valleys of Hellas; they
changed considerably the social condition of the populations, expelling
or subduing many of the former occupants and yeomen. From the north,
from Thessaly, poured Hellenes, Heraclides, and Dorians, west and
south, principally into the Peloponnesus. Henceforth the whole Greek
family was represented in history by two cardinal social, political,
and intellectual currents, through the so-called Doric and Ionic races.

In Thessaly, serfdom--but not chattelhood--seems to have been anciently
established. New-comers subdued the earlier tillers of the soil.
The subdued became _villeins_, bondsmen, _adscripti glebæ_. Such
dependent cultivators were the Thessalian Penestæ, who paid over
to the landowners a certain proportion of the produce of the soil;
furnished those retainers by which the families of the chiefs, or the
more powerful, were surrounded, and served in war as their followers.
But they could not be sold out of the country; they had a permanent
tenure in the soil, and enjoyed family and village relations. Perhaps
more than twenty centuries afterward, this was also the condition of
the rustics all over western and mediæval Europe, and in some parts
this condition even lasted down to our century--everywhere similar
events generating emphatically analogous results and conditions. The
holdings of the Thessalian Penestæ were protected by the state, whose
subjects they were, and not chattels of the individual proprietors. The
Thessalian and Doric invaders and conquerors imposed a similar yoke
wherever they were victorious and finally settled. The last Doric and
Heraclidic invasion, which culminated in the institutions and history
of Sparta, subdued the former occupants of Peloponnesus, some of
whom were likewise of Doric origin. Of such origin, in considerable
proportion, were the renowned Helots. So, also, in course of time,
the descendants of the companions of Achilles became, in the north,
serfs under certain conditions of a more liberal nature; while others,
descending from the companions of Agamemnon and Menelaus, became
Sparta's Helots.

The condition of the Helots, in many respects, was similar to that of
the Penestæ of Thessaly. They could not be sold beyond the borders
of the state, not even by the state itself, which apportioned them
to citizens, reserving to itself the power of emancipation. They
lived in the same villages which were once their own property, before
conquest transformed the free yeomen or peasants into bondsmen. The
state employed the Helots in the construction of public works. Their
fate, however terrible it may have been, was altogether within the
law, whereas other domestic slaves in Greece, just like those in the
Southern States, depended upon the arbitrary will of individuals.
The Spartan law had various provisions for the emancipation of the
Helots. They served in the army and fought the great battles of the
Lacedemonians. Will the South intrust their chattels with arms and
drill them into military companies?

Sparta was the seat of an oligarchy, which owned the greater part of
the lands of Laconia, and kept in dependency the other autochthonous
tribes, which in some way or other escaped the fate of the Helots.
Such were the Periokes, enjoying certain political and full civil
rights. But, in the course of events, the oligarchy tried to violate
those rights, and the Periokes joined Epaminondas against Sparta,
facilitating its subjugation, just as, centuries afterward, they joined
Flaminius and the Romans against their Spartan masters. In Lacedemonia,
as in Attica, there existed small landholders, called _gamori_ or
_geomori_, and others called _autougroi_--rustics possessing petty
patches of land, or farming small parcels owned by large proprietors.
Just so in the South the large plantations are surrounded by poor
whites, by "sand-hillers," etc., some of them owning small patches,
generally of poorer soil; others altogether homeless and landless.
Subsequently these _geomori_, etc.--poor, free populations and their
homesteads--were almost wholly engulfed by large plantations and
domestic slavery. This was the work of time, as in her great days
scarcely any chattel was known in Sparta.

The landed oligarchy of our Southern plantations is in more than one
respect analogous with that of Sparta. The city of Sparta itself was
rather an agglomeration of spacious country habitations than resembling
other great cities.

When the Dorians made Sparta the centre of their power, the lands of
Laconia were divided into ten thousand equal lots for the ten thousand
Spartan citizens. Undoubtedly the homesteads, cleared and owned by the
first settlers and colonists in the South, were more equally divided
than they are now; and the increase in the extent of plantations on
the one hand, and the decrease of the respectability of the poorer
settlers and their transformation into "poor oppressed white men,"[12]
on the other, were both effected by domestic slavery. At the time
of Lycurgus--about four hundred years after the division--the above
number of oligarchs was reduced to nine thousand; at the time of
Herodotus--about four hundred years after Lycurgus--to eight thousand;
and thus a reduction of one-tenth took place during each period of
from three hundred to four hundred years. This was the time of the
world-renowned Spartan poverty and virtue. But wars, conquests, etc.,
changed the character of the Spartans; luxury and wealth crept in, and
with them came large estates and domestic slaves, the latter chiefly
consisting of Greek prisoners of war. At the beginning of the first
Peloponnesian war, Sparta may have had two hundred and twenty thousand
Helots, and there were comparatively few domestic slaves in that
number. The Peloponnesian war made the Spartans leaders of Greece, but
filled Sparta with prisoners from other Greek states, and introduced
wealth: from that war begins the decline of the Spartan spirit. The
Helots and the impoverished poor whites successively became chattels.
Sparta could only muster seven hundred citizens against Epaminondas at
Leuctra. During the period between Herodotus and Aristotle the number
of citizens was reduced to little above one thousand. At the Macedonian
conquest, Sparta averaged fourteen chattels for every three freemen.
One hundred years after Aristotle, under King Agis, about two hundred
oligarchs constituting the body politic, the citizens of Sparta owned
nearly all the lands of Laconia, and worked them by chattels.

This numerical reduction of citizens and deterioration of their
historic character principally affected the military standing of
Sparta. Causes so obvious as not to require explanation prevent at
present a similar diminution of the number of Southern oligarchs,
notwithstanding the existing numerical disproportion between them and
the non-slaveholding whites, whose political freedom, to a rational
appreciation, is rather nominal than real. The disease is the same--its
workings alone are different. The sword was the soul of Spartan
institutions: the pure and elevated conception of the American social
structure rests not on physical but on intellectual and moral force;
but its deterioration is visible in the new conception of slavery
inaugurated and sustained by the militant oligarchs. The process of
moral and intellectual decomposition in the South would be still more
rapid but for the various influences from the Free States, which, like
refreshing breezes, fan its fainting energies.

The sword, it is true, may have decimated whole Spartan communities;
but such losses were supplied from the class of the Periokes and other
freemen, and even sometimes from the Helots. Domestic slavery devoured
the small estates, degraded the freemen, and dried up the sources of
political renovation. Five thousand Spartans fought at Plateæ, which
gives a total population of about forty thousand. The number of Helots
owned by them at that time amounted to one hundred and seventy-five
thousand. Subsequently, after the Peloponnesian and Macedonian wars,
these Helots were transformed into chattels, and the degenerate
Spartans attempted to transform the Periokes into Helots, but made them
simply deadly enemies. Almost in proportion as the Spartan oligarchs
increased in wealth and possessions, not only did the number of Helots
and slaves increase, but military ardor decreased. At Leuctra, Sparta
hired her cavalry; and soon after, Sparta, rich in Helots and chattels
but poor in citizens, was forced passively to witness the curtailing of
her frontiers by Philip of Macedon.

The Helots often revolted; and frequent conspiracies were discovered
and subdued in terrible slaughter, when the oligarchs believed
themselves again safe. The old laws of most of the American colonies,
north and south, contain repeated regulations, dating from the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, concerning conspiracies, revolts,
and tumults perpetrated by negroes; and this, too, several generations
before the birth of active abolitionism. For not to abolitionism but
to the love of liberty inborn in human nature--in the Spartan Helot as
in the colored chattel of the Southern oligarch--are to be attributed
the conspiracies continually fermenting among Southern slaves. At
times the Spartans were obliged to ask succor from the Athenians
and other allies against their revolted Helots. To-day the Union
is fully able to suppress servile revolts, but in some future time
the South may vainly look in all quarters of the horizon for active
allies. It may find some well-wishers among its interested northern
sympathizers, but the chattels will have the sympathy of the civilized
Christian and heathen world, besides finding allies among the free
colored populations of the Antilles. Under England's fatherly and
humane direction, these colored populations are being initiated into
genuine Christian civilization, and make comparatively great strides
and progress in material and political culture, in orderly life, in
self-government, in the employment of the free press, and in debating
their interests in legislative assemblies and cabinet councils. Ever
since the establishment of American slavery on a social and religious
basis, the mass of the white population in the South, and, above all,
the great heroes, apostles, and combatants of the new political creed,
are returning to barbarism--willingly and deliberately renouncing all
genuine mental and moral culture. And thus the two extremes may meet
in some future emergency--the colored inhabitant of the Antilles as a
superior civilized being, will face the barbarized white oppressor in
the South.

The Spartan Helot increased with a fecundity fearful for the oligarchs,
who resorted to the horrible _kryptea_, or slaughter of unarmed Helots
all over Laconia at a time appointed specially and secretly by the
ephors. This was the last resort to avert the danger, and more than
once was it used during the brilliant epoch of Sparta.

In the South the chattels likewise increase very rapidly, but not
rapidly enough to satisfy the breeders, planters, and slave-traders.
All things considered, the colored enslaved population increases
in a proportion by far more rapid than the white. After 1783 the
blacks were estimated at between five and six hundred thousand: the
census of 1860 will find them full four millions: and no wonder.
Trafficking slave-breeders, as well as planters, organize breeding as
systematically as cattle-raisers attend to their stock. In Virginia
this is the principal pursuit, and the chief source of income from
domestic husbandry. The breeders have small enclosures to gently
exercise the young human stock like the breeders of valuable horses.
In some States, principally in the cotton region, the colored chattels
outnumber the whites; in others the respective numbers are nearly
equal. About one hundred and fifty years ago, South Carolina, through
the voice of her law-makers, referring to the increase in chattels,
declared it an "afflicting providence of God that the white persons
do not proportionably multiply." Nowadays South Carolina finds the
affliction a blessing. Though her colored population already outnumbers
the white, she is first in assaulting humanity by reopening the

Cotton is a plant indigenous to the old world--to Asia and Africa. Its
culture by free labor may soon become very profitable in other regions
of the globe. Sooner or later this will end the exclusive American
monopoly of its production, and then the dead weight of chattelhood
will press fearfully on the oligarchs in economical as in social ways,
even if the chattels remain quiet: this is, however, impossible to
suppose, on account of their continually increasing numbers. Already
slaves are tortured, murdered, burnt and slaughtered at the first
danger, even though it be imaginary. Now this is done individually,
and, even according to Southern notions, illegally. When the profits
from slave-labor shall dwindle, and the danger from great masses of
chattels shall increase, self-preservation and fatality will force the
slaveocracy into attempting to re-enact the Spartan _krypteia_: the
cattle-breeder easily transforming himself into the butcher. Even now
many of them are on the way to bringing this about, by exposing their
old and unproductive field hands to perish from want and misery.

In the course of about four centuries, both during and after the
Peloponnesian war, the Spartan oligarchy was enriched more and more
by the spoils of victorious wars, and by the importation of slaves
as war prisoners from other Greek and from barbarous nations. Then
the difference between the rich and poor was more striking, and the
eternal process of oppressing the poor, seizing upon their property,
or buying them out, was busily and cheerfully pursued. Then Laconia
was held by comparatively few Spartan slaveholders--but there were no
more heroes of Thermopylæ. Citizens and freemen were a scarcity during
the Augustan period; but slaves, the property of a few wealthy owners,
actually covered Lacedemonia and Sparta. Domestic slavery undermined
and destroyed the Spartan nation in precisely the same manner as it did
others before and since. The enslaved Helots and Greeks, and many of
the descendants of the enslavers, became, in their turn, slaves of the
Romans, then of the Slavic invaders, afterward of the Crusaders, till
finally all of them, masters and slaves, groaned under the yoke of the
Osmanlis. The traveller can now scarcely find the few mouldering ruins
of the once proud and enslaving city. Spartan history covers nearly a
thousand years: and for centuries the destructive disease was at work.
Some of its symptoms, in the course of half a century, are already
highly developed in the South.

Piracy and kidnapping, which in Greece originated at a time when every
man saw an enemy almost in his immediate neighbor, did not wholly cease
when national relations became more normal and regular. When slavery
began to permeate the domestic economy, piracy and the slave-traffic
were of course more active. The Southern enslavers assert that their
region is not yet supplied with the necessary number of chattels.
They draw on piracy, kidnapping, and bloodshed in Africa. The almost
incessant wars between the Greek neighboring tribes and nations
encouraged slavery; and innocent citizens, going from one Greek state
to another, were often enslaved through enmity and greed. However,
this savage custom became softened and finally abandoned when the
mutual relations became more civilized and regulated; whereas free-men
from free states of the Union are arrested and imprisoned in the
so-called civilized slave-holding states, and in some cases they can be
legally sold as slaves.

In Boeotia slaves were not numerous--being only occasionally made and
used. Neither serfs, bond-men, nor chattels, were held in Elis, Locris,
or by the Arcadians, Phocians, or Achæans, until the downfall of Greek
dignity, liberty, and independence, under the Macedonian and Roman
rule. The Phocians prohibited slavery by express legislation.

The Ionians in Attica boasted that they sprang from their native soil.
They were therefore the primitive tillers and cultivators of their not
over-fertile and rather rocky land, of about one hundred and ninety
square miles. This land was divided more or less equally into small
homesteads worked by yeomen, to whom chattels would have been a burden.
Centuries after the heroic or legendary epoch, when Attica possessed
wealthier landowners, Hesiod advises the agriculturists to work their
lands by the free labor of the Thetes in preference to slave labor.

Athens became very early a commercial city, and perhaps piratical
expeditions for the kidnapping of slaves were fitted out from the
Piræus. At any rate, slavery, chattelhood, was especially, if not
exclusively, fostered when commerce became more extensive. Athens was
the seat and focus of domestic slavery. In the course of time almost
all trades were carried on by slaves, as also mining, and finally,
farming. But all this was the growth of the long process of centuries.

Debtors were enslaved; but Solon abolished this right of the creditor.
He likewise abolished the custom of going about armed in the community.
Generally it is a sign of a dangerous and very degraded state of
society when men carry arms as a necessity. By a strange coincidence,
since slavery has been proclaimed a moral and religious duty, the use
of bowie-knives, revolvers, and rifles becomes more and more the order
of the day in the South. Not against the slave, not against any foreign
enemy, not even against the abolitionist, do the men of the South arm
themselves, but it is against each other that they have recourse to
armed assaults in their private and public intercourse. From the South
the savage custom invades the North, and it has in some cases been
forced on peaceful Northern members of Congress in self-defence against
the assaults of their Southern colleagues.

The Ionic race had no serfs or Helots, either in Attica or elsewhere.
But in Attica, as in other Greek communities, and indeed throughout the
whole world, from among the primitive yeomen or peasants, emerged those
who, more thrifty, more successful, or more brave, accumulated wealth
in various ways. Such was one mode in which aristocracy originated.
These yeomen growing richer, acquired more land, bought out smaller
farmers, and could hire more field hands. Even before Solon the aim of
the rich was to transform freeholders into tenants, but Solon stemmed
this current for a long period of time.

Parents could sell their children into slavery; Solon reduced this
right to such daughters as willingly submitted to seduction. A poor man
could sell himself into slavery, and children exposed by their parents
were enslaved by the public authorities.

War and traffic furnished the great supplies of slaves or chattels for
the Athenians. Such chattels were from all nations and races, and the
black slaves constituted an accidental and imperceptible minority.
Witness Æsop telling the story of a rustic who bought a black slave
and unsuccessfully tried to bleach or to whitewash it. If blacks had
been common merchandise, the rustic would have been familiar with
its nature. Slavery was transmitted from parents to children, if the
prisoner of war was not ransomed or the slave not manumitted. But
at any time a slave could receive or buy his freedom, and a chattel
once liberated could not, under penalty of capital punishment, again
be violently enslaved. In the South they begin to legislate for the
re-enslavement of the liberated: the odium no longer falls on the
individual but on the whole body politic. All over the ancient world
the state watched over and protected the once enfranchised slave:
the modern slave-holding polity expels him or legislates for his
disfranchisement. In Athens, as all over Greece, the offspring of
freemen and slave-women were free.

At first slaves performed domestic service, and afterward, when their
number increased, they were employed in various trades. The state used
them in public works, sometimes to row the ships. But the greatest
number were employed to work the mills and mines of Attica. However,
the state itself did not work the mines, but rented them generally
without the slave labor; though private individuals rented them for
a term of years, together with the slaves who worked them. Slowly
chattelhood spread over the rural economy of Attica.

About the time of the Persian wars, rural property was still nearly
equally divided among the citizens. Wealth was accumulated and
represented in commerce, in various industries, and in the precious
metals. But at that time slaves nowhere outnumbered the freemen. At
the battle of Marathon the Athenians had ten thousand _hoplites_ or
heavily armed able-bodied citizens; at Platea eight thousand; and in
both battles nearly as many _peltasts_ or lightly-armed troops--poorer
citizens, but not serfs, or retainers, or slaves. Before the invasion
of Xerxes, the free population of Attica probably amounted to more than
one hundred and twenty thousand of both sexes and all ages. The slave
population is estimated at the utmost as sixty thousand.

Athens, like all the other Greek republics, colonized other countries
with the surplus of their free--mostly poor--population. Herodotus
died in such an expedition. The Dorians very likely colonized Sicily,
the Ionians Italy or Magna Grecia. Such colonizations relieved the
over-populated mother-country, extended the Hellenic culture, but
likewise, in more than one way, fostered and nursed slavery. The
Greek colonists in Sicily and in Italy, conquering or pushing into
the interior the aborigines of these lands, enslaved, kidnapped and
sold them. Then the Greek cities warred with and enslaved each other.
Such was the case between Sybaris and Crotona, or in Sicily between
Syracuse, Girgentum, etc. The rich men of Athens bought more and
more slaves, purchased the lands of the poor, substituted in various
handicrafts their gangs of slave laborers for freemen, and exported the
impoverished freemen.[13] The increase of large estates and chattels
went hand in hand with the decrease of freemen and public spirit in
Athens; and the same was the case in other large commercial cities of

After the Persian war Athens became the wealthiest of commercial
cities, and the Athenians a conquering nation. Both circumstances
increased the number of slaves. But still the landed property was not
yet absorbed. Alcibiades owned only about three hundred _plethra_, or
about seventy-five acres of land in Attica. The wealthy slave-owners
and oligarchs were not in power, but they owned mines in Attica and
landed estates in various Greek dependencies and colonies. Slavery
prevailed in the city, and it became more and more common on the
farms. However, on the eve of the Peloponnesian war, democracy still
prevailed. The oligarchs, proud of their slaves, mines, plantations and
estates, scorned the democracy of Athens, composed of artists, yeomen,
operatives, artisans--who really formed the soul of the great Periclean

Oligarchies are alike all over the world; in most of them,
slave-holders, however called, live upon the labor of others; all
of them scorn the laboring classes. The Southern militant planters
and their Northern servile retainers scorn the enlightened masses of
working-men, the farmers and operatives of the free states. But it is
those masses which exclusively give original signification to America
in the history of human development. Athens and the various monuments
of the Periclean epoch coruscate over doomed Hellas: so the villages
of the free states, with their schools and laborious, intelligent,
self-reliant populations, shed their rays now over the Christian
world. And the sight of such a village is a far different subject of
contemplation from that of the slave-crowded plantation.

Slavery increased rapidly in Athens, as in all the great commercial
centres, and in the adjacent isles of Greece. At the beginning of the
Peloponnesian war, Attica had a population of about twenty thousand
male adults, or a little over one hundred thousand free persons of
all ages and sexes. The whole free population of Greece is estimated
to have been at that time about eight hundred thousand souls; and the
slaves--the Spartan serfs or Helots included--perhaps outnumbered the
freemen. Thucydides says that the island of Chios had about two hundred
and ten thousand slaves, the largest number next to Sparta; then came
Athens, with nearly two hundred thousand human chattels; while other
great commercial cities of Greece, as Sycyon and Corinth, likewise
contained very large numbers.

The Peloponnesian war was waged with all the violence of a family feud.
It spread desolation, impoverishment, carnage and slavery over Greece.
Captives made by the one or the other contending party, were sold by
tens of thousands into slavery; these captives were principally the
small freeholders, the _thetes_ and _geomori_--operatives, artisans,
and, indeed, free workmen of every kind. Their number consequently
diminished, and their small estates were either bought or taken
violently by the rich, who thus simultaneously increased the number
of their chattels and their acres of land. Thus did slavery permeate
more and more the Greek social polity, until, at the epoch between
Pericles and the beginning of the Macedonian wars, the number of slaves
in Athens and Attica was nearly doubled: but the free population did
not thus increase. Large landed estates became more and more common,
till, in the time of Demosthenes, the soil of Attica, was concentrated
in comparatively few hands. At Cheronea, the Athenians fought against
Philip with mercenary troops, and even armed their slaves. But the
spirit of Marathon and of Platæa was gone, and Athens succumbed. The
gold of Philip was acceptable to the rich slave-holders, and went
principally into the hands of the oligarchs; but alas! no second
Miltiades ever emerged from their ranks.

It is supposed that at the epoch of the Macedonian conquest, the
proportion of slaves and freemen was as seven to three. Near the
beginning of the reign of Alexander, the free population of Greece
amounted to one million, and the slaves to one million four hundred
and thirty-five thousand. The census taken in Attica about that time,
under the archon Demetrius of Phaleris, gives for Athens and Attica
twenty-one thousand adult male citizens, or a little over one hundred
thousand persons of all ages and sexes, and four hundred thousand
slaves. The slave population pre-ponderated, however, only in the
wealthy part of Greece; the poorer agricultural communities, as already
mentioned, having been free from its curse. Thus Corinth had four
hundred and fifty thousand, and Ægina four hundred and seventy thousand
slaves; and this is the reason that Philip, Alexander, Antipater, and
other conquerors had such comparatively easy work in destroying Greek

The Macedonian wars also spread desolation, slavery and ruin; and of
Thebans alone, Alexander sold over thirty thousand into slavery.

Thus ended the independent political existence of Greece and Athens.
Rich slave-holders, indeed, they still had; but they ceased to have a
history of their own, or a distinct political existence; and Greece
became a satellite successively of Macedonia, Syria, Egypt and Rome.

To conclude: in Athens, as indeed throughout Greece, the commercial
cities inaugurated domestic slavery. Slavery first penetrated into
domestic life; then entered into the various trades and industries, and
finally, almost wholly absorbed the lands and the agricultural economy.
It also penetrated into the functions of state, and various minor
offices were held by slaves--which anomaly was afterward reproduced in
Rome, especially under the emperors.

In the slave section of our own country the system has already got
possession of domestic and family life, of agriculture, and of some
of the handicrafts; and slaves are employed on some of the railroads
as brake-men and assistant-engineers. This may be a cheering proof
of the intellectual capacity of the colored race, but it proves also
the analogy which exists everywhere between the workings of slavery,
whatever may be the distance of ages or the color of the enslaved.

It was only during the period of the moral, social and political
decomposition of Greece that slavery flourished. A certain Diophantus
at one period proposed a law to enslave all the laborers, artisans and
operatives in Athens--so that those who now so loudly demand the same
thing here, had prototypes more than twenty-four centuries ago; for,
though history has transmitted to infamous memory only the name of
Diophantus, yet undoubtedly he stood not alone.

In Athens and in Greece we see the cancer growing steadily over the
whole social and political organism, until all Attica and almost the
whole of the ancient world were divided only between slave-holders and

In the slave marts of Athens and of Corinth, and afterward in that of
Delos, the sale of chattels was conducted in precisely the same way as
it now is in Richmond, in New Orleans and in Memphis. The proceedings
of the auctioneers and the traders, of the buyers and the sellers, were
as cruel then as they are now. The same eulogies of the capacities
of able-bodied men, the same piquant descriptions of the various
attractions of the women, the same tricks to conceal bodily defects,
and similar guaranties between vender and buyer, then as now.

When, finally, laborers of almost every kind, handicraftsmen and
agriculturists, had thus become enslaved, all the freemen, both rich
and poor, were speedily swallowed up in an equal degradation. The
family became disorganized; the republics perished. This was completely
accomplished when Greece passed from Macedonian to Roman rule: then
domestic slavery flourished as never before. In that final struggle
the password of the Greek slave-holders was, "_Unless we are quickly
lost, we cannot be saved._" The non-slaveholding mountaineers of Achaia
fought against the Romans until they were almost exterminated. But
Rome conquered, and large numbers of Greeks were sold into slavery by
the Roman consuls. Paulus Emilius alone sold one hundred and fifty
thousand Macedonians and other Greeks, while the whole population of
Corinth was sold by Mummius; and Sylla depopulated Athens, the Piræus
and Thebes. The Roman rule in Greece and over the Greek world was a
fierce stimulant to the growth of domestic slavery. The Roman senate
and the Roman proconsuls especially favored the large slaveholders,
since they were the fittest persons to tolerate the yoke. The Romans
helped them to degrade and to enslave as much as possible. Rome wanted
not freemen in Greece, but slaves and obedient slave-drivers; and Roman
tax-gatherers and the farmers of public revenues sold freemen into
slavery for debt. Finally, the celebrated Cilician pirates desolated
Greece, carrying away and selling, in Delos, almost the last remnants
of the free laboring population.

A small body of free citizens now ruled immense masses of slaves. The
normal economy of nature was thus destroyed, and the depopulation
of Greece went on rapidly. At the time of Cicero, almost the whole
of Attica formed the estate of a single slaveholder, who also owned
other estates in other parts of Greece. Many militant slave oligarchs
doubtless envy that Athenian slaveholder; at any rate they are doing
their utmost to bring the Southern States to a condition similar to
that just depicted in Athens and Greece.

During the Peloponnesian wars, insurrections of slaves often took place
in Attica, especially in the mines. But the greatest slave rebellion,
as far as history has recorded, was under the Roman administration. The
revolted slaves then seized upon the fortress of Sunium, and for a long
time fought bravely for their freedom.

The Greeks, as in some degree all the peoples of antiquity, considered
domestic slavery a social misfortune to the enslavers, and an accursed
fatality inherent in human society. They never presented it under the
false colors of a normal and integral social element. The striking
analogies between the workings of slavery in the ancient world
and in the American republic, show that the disease is everywhere
and eternally the same, and that it does not _ennoble_ either the
community or the individual slaveholder, as the pro-slavery combatants
apodictically assert.

If in the despotic oriental empires, domestic and political slavery
at times played into each other's hands until they jointly destroyed
national life, _it was domestic slavery, single-handed, which did
the work in Greece_, and particularly in Sparta and Athens. Domestic
slavery enervated the nation and made it an easy prey to foreign
conquest. It converted into a putrescent mass the once great and
brilliant Grecian world.


[Footnote 12: Edward A. Pollard, letter to the _Tribune_.]

[Footnote 13: So the poor whites of the South emigrate and settle in
the Western territories, and the planters magnify their plantations and
their chattels.]




_Corpus Juris, Livy, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Niebuhr, Arnold,
Savigny, Puchta, Mommsen, Jhring, Clinton, Carl Hegel, Zumpt, etc._

The primitive occupants of the Mediterranean peninsula--anciently, and
at the present time, called Italy--issued from the same Aryan stock
as peopled Greece. These immigrants, almost from the first moment of
their arrival, seem to have devoted themselves to agriculture, as all
the relics still dimly visible in prehistoric twilight certify to
this fact. Thus, the domestic legend of the Samnites makes an ox the
leader of the primitive colonies, which is only a different version of
another tradition, according to which Vitulus or Italus--a legendary
king, from whom the name of "Italy" is derived--brought about among his
subjects the transition from shepherds to farmers. The name _Italia_,
in ancient Latin, signified a _country full of cattle_. The oldest
of the Latin tribes has the name of _Siculi_, _Sicani_, reapers, and
another, _Opsci_, or field-laborers. Among the Italians (or _Italos_,
_Italiots_), the legends, creeds, laws, and manners all originate in
agriculture; while every one knows the use of the plough in the distant
background of the legendary foundation of Rome. The oldest Roman
matrimonial rite, the _confarreatio_, also has its name from _rye_.
With agriculture is primarily connected a fixed abode, and thus springs
up the love of home and family. From agricultural life arises the tribe
or clan, which is simply a community of individuals descending from
the same ancestor. In this primitive condition the field-labors and
domestic occupations were performed by various members, first of the
family, and then of the clan. The _servus_ or servant of that epoch was
no more a chattel in the Latin agricultural family and community than
was the primitive servant in the tent of the patriarchs (see "Hebrews"
and "Aryas"), or than were the servants of the first colonists in New
England, Virginia, or the Carolinas. In these primitive households
there were no duties for a chattel, for from the earliest time
agricultural and household occupations were as sacred to the yeomen and
peasants of Latium and Rome as were the domestic hearth, the father,
and the family.

From the left bank of the Tiber to the Volscian mountains, and over the
plains of the Campagna, lived the Latins--the _prisci Latini_. They
were divided into numerous distinct families or clans, which afterward
were the generators of the Roman people. The region where they first
appear, in the most ancient times, was therefore settled by separate
families, and divided into separate townships and villages. These clans
it was which afterward in "the city" constituted the primitive _tribus
rusticæ_ or rural tribes.

The _Ramnes_, _Ramneis_, _Romaneis_, _Romani_ or Romans, the founders
of Rome, were, in all probability, bold rovers and adventurers from
the various tribes and villages of Latium. They lived among the bushes
and groves of the Palatine Mount, and what they acquired by depredation
was common property. These primitive legendary Romans had no use for
slaves; they had no mart in which to sell them, and it is probable that
they neither kidnapped nor enslaved any of the neighboring villagers.
Neither legend nor history fixes positively how long these _Ramnenses_
or Romans persevered in their wild mode of life. The legend very soon
unites them with other settled families, such as the Sabine farmers and
peasantry. Then began the specific organized existence of the Romans.

The whole soil of the Roman community constituted an _ager Romanus_
or _publicus_. Every citizen, as a part of the _populus_ or state,
received therefrom a share of the public land for his private use.
When the Romans extended their dominions by subduing the neighboring
villages and districts, the lands of such districts, their pasturages,
etc., were incorporated into the _ager Romanus_, and the inhabitants
were sometimes obliged to settle in Rome or in lands in its vicinity.
From these originated the plebeians, who, under certain conditions,
received shares or lots in the _ager publicus_ or _Romanus_. The aim
of these primitive wars was neither to kidnap nor enslave the subdued
tribes, nor even to transform them into serfs or Helots, at the utmost
to make them tributaries.

To the legendary Romulus were attributed the regulations or laws which
forbade the massacre or enslavement of the male youth of conquered
villages or districts, and prohibited also the transformation of the
conquered lands into pasturages, and provided that they should be
parcelled into small homesteads for Roman citizens. At first two acres,
and afterward seven, constituted such a civic patrimony or homestead.
It was the abandonment of this law in after ages which generated
slavery and the ruin of the populace.

Only the prisoners made on the battle-field and counted among the
spoils, were sold by the state at public auction: _sub hasta_, "under
the spear," and _sub corona_, "the citizen wearing a crown"--to the
citizens or members of the community. Such prisoner, like all other
vended booty, became a _mancipium_, _res mancipia_, (from _manu
capere_, "taken, caught by the hand.") Such slaves, in all probability,
were not numerous. A more prolific source of slavery was the right to
enslave a debtor for life. The debtor became a _mancipium_; and even
when the right to enslave him was abolished, the legal formality of
catching him or touching by the hand, was maintained.

The power of the father or chief of the household--_patria
potestas_--was limitless, in the precincts of the house, over both the
family and the servants. The father, be he patrician or plebeian, could
sell his son into slavery, but the right was very seldom used. So also,
the father had the right of life and death over all his family and
household. Manumission of slaves was common; it existed from the most
ancient times. The slave could also buy his liberty. Subsequently,
in the last centuries of the republic and under the emperors, a slave
could be emancipated by various positive enactments, and the status of
the manumitted slave often passed through various gradations before
reaching absolute independence. The fortieth book of the Pandects
contains several chapters relating to manumission.

Sometimes, though rarely, under the kings, the _public slaves_--or
those of the state, exclusively war prisoners--were employed on public
works, or to take care of public buildings, or to attend on magistrates
or priests. The condition of public slaves was preferable to that of
the private slaves; indeed, the former subsequently had the right to
dispose by will of half of their property.

The land was tilled by the hands of the senators themselves, patricians
though they were. If a patrician (_pater_) possessed more land than he
could cultivate himself, he divided it among small free cultivators,
or let it out; and no servile hand desecrated the plough. The slaves
employed in the house were not numerous.

King Servius Tullius inaugurated a political reform, intended to
alleviate the condition of the plebeians oppressed by the patricians;
and in preparation for it he took a census. At that time Rome had
eighty-four thousand able-bodied citizens between the ages of eighteen
and sixty years, or a total population of about four hundred thousand
free persons of all ages and sexes. To this number must be added
the plebeians, who were not yet citizens. The artisans, operatives,
clients and strangers perhaps doubled this estimate of the population
of Rome, the limits of which then stretched from the Tiber to the Anio,
including, probably, the lands of Alba, and making in all, an area of
about one hundred and twenty or one hundred and forty square miles.
There would thus be more than five thousand five hundred inhabitants to
a square mile; so that there could have remained but very little room
for slaves.

In the first stages of the republic, the patricians continually
increased their landed estates, and by renting these to tenants,
they acquired power over the poor free laborers, and by lending them
money, got a claim on their bodies and also on the free yeomen and
rustics. The patricians were hard creditors, and rigorously availed
themselves of their legal rights, and their _ergastula_--caves or
vaulted prisons--were almost continually filled with poor debtors.
This impoverishment of the free yeomanry increased after the terrible
devastations perpetrated by the Gauls under Brennus. Finally, these
financial oppressions generated those revolts of the plebeians which
terminated in their obtaining political rights and full citizenship,
together with the jurisprudential reform known as the Twelve Tables.

During the first three or four centuries of the republic, the number
of slaves who were non-debtors was very limited. At the census made
in the year of Rome 280, the free population amounted to over four
hundred and ten thousand persons, and there were then only seventeen
thousand slaves.

Few, if any, women were originally enslaved. If the nursling of a Roman
family often drew its milk from the paps of a slave woman, the Roman
matron, in turn, often gave her breast to the babe of a slave.

In those early times the slaves were kindly treated; they were regarded
rather as members of the family than as chattels; they took their meals
with their masters, and participated in the sacrifices and worship of
the gods. They were not considered dangerous elements in the household
or the state. From that early epoch also date certain privileges
conceded to the slaves--such as their earnings or _peculium_, which, at
first established only by common usage, became afterward defined and
specified by the civil law, in which originally the slave was almost
entirely ignored.

Plebeians, proletarians, clients, free artisans--almost all of whom
were Romans--formed, in the first centuries, the bulk of the slaves
kept in the _ergastula_ of the patricians. Frequently, when a consul
wanted soldiers, he would order the creditors to open their vaults and
disgorge the victims for his service in a campaign. And sometimes,
though rarely, a consular edict quashed the debts and set them free.

In these earliest times of the Republic the name of a _proletarius_,
or procreator of children, was held in honor. It was to an increase of
the number of its freemen, not of its slaves, that the Republic hoped
for duration and power. To be called _colonus_, or a cultivator, was
also an honor to a Roman citizen, whether patrician or plebeian, in
the times of Cincinnatus, Dentatus, and Regulus. Labor was then a high
distinction, nay it was sacred; and a slave may almost be considered an
accident in domestic pursuits. Scaurus, then one of the wealthiest and
most powerful senators, had six slaves, Curius Dentatus one, Regulus
one, when he commanded the Roman legions against Carthage, while
Cincinnatus may have had one, but most probably none.

The three hundred patrician Fabii, who left Rome, crossed the Tiber
and settled at the utmost limits of the state, to guard and defend it
from the inroads of invaders--were yeomen, ploughmen, and farmers. And
without intending to offend or disparage the _ennobled_ pro-slavery
militants of this age and country, one may surely suppose that they
have at least a little respect for the names and the character of a
Dentatus, a Cincinnatus, and a Regulus.

However, the patricians and many of the rich plebeians continued
uninterruptedly to increase their lands in the _ager publicus_ at the
cost of the smaller yeomen, and that at a time when rural slavery may
be said to have been in its infancy. And it was the object of the
celebrated agrarian laws to restore the balance between the rich and
the poor in the possession of the public lands.

The wars carried on by Rome with the Greek cities in Italy, which were
crowded with slaves, and the wars carried on beyond the borders of
Italy, were the great nurseries of slavery. In such wars free citizens
were of course killed in vast numbers, and slave war-prisoners were
brought back to Rome in their stead. The Punic wars are the turning
point in the political history and in the social and moral development
of the Romans. These wars gave the first great stimulus both to urbane,
and rustic slavery. Urbane slaves were those employed in houses and
villas for personal service; rustic slaves were those engaged in
working the estates.

Rome became more and more a maritime and commercial emporium, and
slaves were now imported as merchandise, besides the continually
increasing number of prisoners of war. Thus Regulus brought over twenty
thousand Carthaginians of all conditions of life, who were sold into
slavery. But even at the time of the second Punic war, the number of
slaves of all kinds must have been comparatively very small; for after
the terrible defeat at Cannæ, the Roman senate ordered the slaves to be
armed, and only eight thousand were inscribed on the military roll. The
census taken about that time gave, in all the state, two hundred and
thirty-seven thousand Roman adult citizens, or 1,185,000 free persons
of all sexes and ages; making in all, 770,000 Romans, with their
Italian allies, fit for military duty.

The victorious Hannibal sold into slavery thousands of Roman citizens;
while the final conquest of the Carthaginian empire and of Sicily
poured many thousands of slaves into Rome from Africa, from Sicily,
and from Spain. Thus thirty thousand inhabitants of Palermo and
twenty-five thousand of Agrigentum, were sold into slavery. Among those
brought by Scipio from Africa, were two thousand artisans whom he
promised he would not sell, but would keep as slaves of the state.

Henceforth conquests in and out of Italy became a social and political
necessity for Rome. The spoils and lands rapidly increased the wealth
of the citizens, but principally of the patricians. The habits of
luxury, the contempt of manual and especially agricultural labor,
became general; and with it the demand increased for slaves to work
the estates and to cater to the other wants of the rich and effeminate
Romans. So now again, war and rapine, the annexation of Mexico,
Central America, Cuba and Hayti, are the aims of the militant American

In course of time Rome became a mart for slaves, as great as were
Carthage, Corinth, Athens and Syracuse. The slave market, like all
the other markets in the city, was superintended by the ædiles. The
municipal regulations compelled the vender to hang a scroll around the
neck of the slave, containing a description of his character, in which
his defects were declared and his health warranted, especially his
freedom from epilepsy and violent diseases. The nativity of the slave
was considered important and was also to be declared. When the Romans
conquered Asia, the Syrians (who belonged to the Caucasian race) were
considered to be especially adapted for slavery, just as the negroes
are at the present day. An incalculable majority of the Roman slaves
were of the Caucasian or Japhetic race. Where, oh, where, during these
almost countless centuries, slept the Scriptural curse of Ham?

The Hannibalian war was eminently destructive to the yeomanry and to
their small homesteads. Internal domestic economy was shaken from the
foundation and almost entirely destroyed; the arable lands were rapidly
turned into wild sheep pastures, with wild slaves on them as shepherds;
the patricians no longer considered agriculture their first occupation,
when they found that the slaves of Sicily, Africa, and afterward Egypt,
were able to nourish both them and the people; and any land still in
culture, was worked by poor farmers, by colonists and slaves. The term
_colonist_, also, now acquired a somewhat degraded signification, for
they were now but poor proletarians and plebeians. Now also came into
more common use the legal denomination _familia rustica_, or rural
chattels; and perhaps at this time, or soon after, originated in Rome
the proverb: "_As many slaves, so many enemies._"

In the course of the sixth century, U.C., there burst out in great
force the antagonism between the free rural laborer and the slave. The
struggle for life and death between the large land and slave holders
and the yeomanry or freeholders, became more and more active. That
which had taken root but slowly in the previous centuries, became
strengthened by contact with nations of older and more corrupt
civilizations. The influence of Carthage appeared in the rural
economy of the Romans, and they began to model their agriculture on
the Carthaginian slave husbandry. The book on "Agriculture," written
by Magon, a Carthaginian, was translated into Latin by order of the
senate. The country was rapidly filled with slaves, and now originated
that reckless cruelty in dealing with them which was reflected soon
after in the laws. The large slaveholders continually enlarged
their estates by buying or seizing under various pretexts the small
homesteads. In the times of Publicola and of the Twelve Tables, the
small freeholders had been driven to despair by debts and executions;
but now they were ruined and utterly destroyed by slave labor. The
patricians, who had formerly been mortgagees of homesteads, and for
whom the freeholder had worked to quash his indebtedness, now became
large planters. Thus in Rome and throughout Italy, as well as in the
conquered provinces, the slave tide rose higher and higher. These
provinces constituted the estates of the sovereign Roman people; but
in their administration the patricians applied the same discipline,
the same iron rod that they held over their slaves. They kept the
ironed chattels in walled courts and prisons, and it became proverbial
that "A good mastiff should show no mercy to slaves"--a proverb still
applicable to the bloodhounds of slavery.

The poor freemen, expelled from the country and deprived of employment,
crowded more and more into Rome, increasing, to a fearful extent, the
Roman proletariate. For more than three centuries the best men of Rome,
Crassus, Licinius, Emilianus, Drusus, and the Gracchi, made various
efforts, to arrest by agrarian laws, the destruction of freeholds,
first by the large estates, and then by slaveholders. These efforts
were the principal causes of the internal struggles and civil wars of
the Roman republic, and their failure proved the destruction of the
Roman world. Scipio Æmilianus Africanus prophecied the downfall of
liberty and of the Roman state, if this substitution of plantation
economy for the old yeomanry and freeholds did not cease. About the
year 620 U.C., scarcely any freeholds for yeomen existed in Etruria;
and Plutarch says, "When Tiberius Gracchus went through Tuscany to
Numantia he found the country almost depopulated, there being scarcely
any free husbandmen or free shepherds, but for the most part imported
slaves. He then first conceived the course of policy," etc. An account
almost precisely similar of the present condition of Virginia may be
found in a speech made a few years ago by one of her own sons--one,
too, of the most ardent upholders of slavery, whether as governor of
the state, as active politician, or as a private citizen. The Roman
planter desolated Etruria by devoting it to the breeding of cattle; the
Virginian desolates her prolific soil and his own manhood by devoting
them to the breeding of "niggers." But here the analogy ceases. The
Virginian savior will stand in history the antipodes of the Gracchi.

The Roman oligarchs, slaveholders and slave-traders, baffled the
sublime efforts of the Gracchi, who attempted not only to preserve but
to increase the number of freeholders. The Gracchi were murdered by
the oligarchs and the degraded rabble. Publius Scipio Nasica and other
senators, fomented and incited Publius Satureius and Lucius Rufus, who,
armed with bludgeons or legs of broken chairs, struck down and murdered
Tiberius Gracchus. With similar barbarity Senator Sumner was assaulted
in his chair of office; and Senators Toombs and Mason, as well as Hons.
Keitt and Brooks, had thus their bloody prototypes in Rome. The murder
of the Gracchi was applauded by the degraded Roman rabble; so also
did the "poor whites" in the South applaud the assault on Sumner, as
well as every other act of savage violence perpetrated in Washington
or elsewhere in the interests of slavery. The Roman men and matrons,
however, did not present _cudgels of honor_ to Publius Satureius and
Lucius Rufus.

The current of slavery now flowed in unchecked course, ever enlarging
as it advanced. The free citizens, deprived of their homes and
property, though now inspired no more by the antique Roman virtue,
nevertheless preserved somewhat of their former bravery, and the
legions extended the Roman sway over Greece and Asia. The captives
taken from the cities and districts were no longer colonized, as
formerly, but were sold into slavery like prisoners made on the
battle-field, and the most vigorous and patriotic portion of the
population of other countries was sold as chattels. The depopulation of
Macedon, Epirus, and Greece by the Roman conquerors, has been already
mentioned. Cato brought large numbers of slaves from Cyprus; Lucullus
must have made innumerable thousands in Bithynia and Cappadocia,
judging from the low price of about two-thirds of a dollar per head,
for which his human booty was sold. Marius made slaves of more than one
hundred and fifty thousand Gauls, Kymri and Teutons, and among them
undoubtedly many Angles and Saxons.

The exactions, taxes and tributes which the Roman oligarchy compelled
the conquered kingdoms to pay, increased the general poverty, ruin and
slavery. The men and children of the Sicilians and other nations were
sold into slavery by the Roman tax-gatherers: and when Marius demanded
from Nicomede of Bithynia, as an ally, his contingent of troops, the
king made answer that all his able-bodied men were sold into slavery
by the Roman tax and tribute gatherers. And even to the present day,
in the slave states, they sell into slavery free men and women for the
costs of prison and judgment.

All these slaves, either in person or cash, centred toward Rome, and
thus increased the power and resources of the oligarch slaveholders,
while at the same time they incontinently devoured the domestic economy
of the state; and the impoverished and homeless freemen took their
revenge on the oligarchs under Marius, father and son, and under
Cinna; while Sylla, in turn, was the avenging sword of the oligarchs
and slaveholders. In his time slaveholders were composed principally
of wealthy ancient patricians and new rich men or cavaliers, who
together constituted the oligarchy of capital: just as now, the "old
families," as they are called, of the slave states combine with the
new plantation-buyers, overseers, traders, etc., and jointly form the
slave-driving oligarchy.

Sylla shed in torrents the blood of those who dared to hope for a
reform from Marius and the reduction of the power of the slaveholders.
He was their soul and their representative, and was guilty of every
cruelty to uphold the interest, not of Rome, but of the egotistical
oligarchy; just, again, as in the slave states, the diminutive would-be
Syllas are ready to sacrifice every thing to maintain slavery, even to
the destruction of society and the republic; while the public spirit of
a free state makes every freeman seek his own welfare in the general

In the time of Sylla, Italy contained about thirteen millions of
slaves; and slave insurrections, both there and in Sicily, succeeded
each other almost uninterruptedly. History has recorded some of them,
and immortalized the name of the heroic Spartacus. The insurrection in
Sicily also, under Ennus, lasted more than four years, and cost the
lives of nearly a million of victims.

Slave-breeding was not yet conducted on a large scale. The advice of
Cato the Grumbler, was against its permission; and he obliged his
slaves to pay him a tax from their _peculium_ whenever they cohabited
with the other sex.

The large amount of grain imported from conquered countries cultivated
by slaves, brought about a competition which soon destroyed the
homesteads of the yeomanry, and transformed the fertile Campagna and
almost the whole of Italy into a vast cattle pasturage.

It has been already mentioned (see "Greeks") that during the
post-Alexandrian dissolution of Greece and of the east, Cilician piracy
was rampant in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. Until Pompey
destroyed this piracy, it had its centres and markets in Crete, in
Rhodes, and even in Alexandria; but the principal mart was in Delos,
where sometimes ten thousand slaves changed masters in a single day.
The Roman merchants were the best patrons of the Cilician pirates; and
recent developments show that our slave-planters are again beginning to
be willing customers to the Americo-African pirates and slave-traders.
In general, wherever the capitalist-slaveholder is permitted to develop
his supremacy in a state, both man and society are materially and
morally ruined. Thus it was with Rome and Italy at that epoch: and so
also, the American slave states move on rapidly in the orbit from which
Rome whirled into the abyss.

In the Mithridatic and Asiatic wars, Pompey enslaved more than two
millions of Asiatics; and according to the census made under him, Italy
contained at that time only 450,000 able-bodied citizens capable of
military duty, or a total free population of about 2,200,000. It is
also asserted that Cæsar enslaved at least one million of Gauls. In the
age of Cicero only about two thousand citizens of Rome possessed landed
property, but with it they owned legions of chattels; and Cicero--a
parvenu without manhood, first the accessory and then the betrayer
of Cataline--maintained that only slaveholders could be considered

After the patricians were restored to power by Sylla, they found that
war and hereditary slavery did not supply the necessary quantity
of slaves; and they consequently began to kidnap and enslave poor
freemen--even their Roman fellow-citizens. To rob and take violent
possession of the remaining freeholds became now a matter of course. In
the time of Cicero nearly all handicrafts in the city, which had once
been in the hands of freemen and clients, were carried on by slaves,
either directly for their masters, or indirectly by being hired out
to others. It became more and more common to hire out skilful slaves
and to train them up with the view of receiving the revenues of their
proficiency. It was then just as it is now; for then Italy, as now the
slave states, was owned by slave-drivers, worked by slaves, and guarded
by heartless overseers and bloodhounds.

In the beginning of his career, Cæsar tried to create a free yeomanry
by distributing the public domain among the poor free citizens and the
disabled soldiers. After the victory over the oligarchs and Pompey,
he colonized eighty thousand of the proletarians of Rome. But it was
forever too late; and besides, the oligarchs and slaveholders opposed
his attempts. Scarcely any free laborers existed; the domain of the
slave-driver was universal; indeed it was such an epoch as is now
again so ardently desired by small senators, would-be statesmen, and
the whole vanguard of the knight-errant army of chattelhood. Freeholds
disappeared from Italy, and almost from the world, with the exception
perhaps of the valleys in the Apennines and the Abruzzi. The region
from the modern Civita Vecchia across Tusculum to Boiæ and Naples,
where once a dense population of Latin and Italian free yeomanry
ploughed the soil and reaped the harvest, was now covered with splendid
villas for the masters and with _ergastula_ for their chattels. But the
proud inhabitants of the villas, the rich patricians and slaveholders,
were themselves soon to become political slaves. Central Italy and
the lands around Rome which nursed the armies, and from which were
recruited the conquerors of the Carthaginians, Numidians and the
phalanxes of Macedonia, was now a waste, depopulated solitude, owned by
a few wealthy planters.

Domestic slavery now brought Rome into the condition to which it had
reduced Greece and the oriental world centuries before. The Italy of
Varro and of Cicero resembled the Greece of Polybius, Carthage on the
eve of its fall, or Asia as found by Alexander. _What will be the
full and ripe crop of this dragon-teeth-seed in America?_ Whenever
domestic slavery is planted and takes enduring root in a country, even
the beauty of nature is ravaged and destroyed. Do the chattel-cabins
enliven the landscape of Virginia or beautify the coast of Carolina?
The living rill or river gloriously reflects a thousandfold the rays
and colors of light, but stagnant sewers are everywhere alike fetid and

During the epoch when slavery flourished and the Roman republic fell
into decay, those terrible cruelties toward slaves which history
records, and which even now strike the mind with horror, came into
vogue. Slaves, chained in gangs, worked in the fields; at night they
were crowded together in prisons; a Greek letter was branded with a
hot iron into their cheeks, and other unmentionable cruelties were
practised. Still, even then, they were comparatively well fed, as
indeed are all useful and submissive beasts. The Roman fabulist
Phoedrus, in his tale of "_The Dog and the Wolf_," tells how this good
feeding was regarded by the nobler minds of that demoralized epoch.

After the time of Cato the breeding of slaves became more general, and
one woman would frequently nurse several babies, while their mothers
were otherwise employed. This became even more common, however, in a
subsequent epoch.

Slaves were used for all purposes in the household of the rich Roman
oligarch. They performed the highest as well as the basest labors; they
were even doctors, architects, literati, readers and amanuenses; they
exercised in some degree the function of printing in our day, as by
their labor manuscripts were copied and libraries formed.

How domestic slavery degraded the Roman slaveholder is evidenced by the
direct statements of history, as well as by the descriptions of manners
in the comedies, etc., which have reached us from that epoch. In
proportion as the old Roman spirit and courage declined, did violence
and rowdyism increase. Among the various deleterious influences of
slavery on slaveholders, also, two which are very noticeable at that
remote time, may again, after the lapse of ages, be observed under our
own eyes: slavery either emasculates the slaveholder physically and
mentally, and thus renders him cruel from effeminacy; or else makes him
rude and reckless, and full of a coarse and savage ferocity.

The Roman oligarchs had all the polish reflected from general culture
covering the most depraved minds; and this told upon their politics
as well as upon their domestic economy. As early as the time of
Jugurtha, nearly all the senators were venal; and subsequently, those
who preserved individually some of the better Roman characteristics,
became even more rare. Such an one, toward the end of the republic,
was Sextus Roscius, whom history mentions for his good treatment of
his bondmen. Whenever a special class of society becomes anywhere
predominant, a special type of character is formed as the standard
of honor, which, however, is generally quite different from the true
standard of an honest man or an upright citizen. But, false criterions
aside, the Slave States may, and undoubtedly do, possess many honorable
planters and citizens, as Carroll of Carrollton or Aiken and Preston
of South Carolina: but none of these men give tone or character to the
manners or the laws; their influence is not permitted in Congress or
the state legislatures, nor are their opinions reflected in the press
or in the sham literature and science of their section. But the customs
and manners which now prevail, the laws enacted, the utterances of
statesmen, the condition of science and literature, and the statements
of the current press, constitute the evidence from which the social
condition of the nation is to be judged now, and the historic evidence
from which it will be judged by future generations.

The slaveholding oligarchy triumphed over Marius and Sertorius as it
triumphed over the Gracchi. _And the Roman republic expired_ composed
of slaveholders, capitalists, and beggars. The fury of the indignant
and impoverished people carried Cæsar to power over the carcasses and
the ruins of the oligarchy, which long before had reduced the liberty
and the name of the Roman people to a sham and a mockery. Domestic
slavery for several centuries undermined the Roman republic, and its
corrosive action increased with the most brilliant periods of conquest,
just as the human body, though gnawed internally by a chronic disease,
may exhibit, for a longer or shorter period, all the appearances of
health and vigor. Oligarchs, slaveholders, and capitalists destroyed a
republic founded by intelligent and industrious agriculturists, yeomen,
and freeholders.

More than one point of analogy exists between the Roman and American
republics. Independent and intelligent small farmers, with artisans,
mechanics, etc., were the founders of American independence. And the
free states have not only preserved but elevated to a higher social and
political significance the original characteristics of her existence;
and the reproaches hurled by the militant pro-slavery oligarchs against
the free farmers and operatives in the fields and workshops of the
north are sacrilegious to liberty and light. Even so the prince of
darkness curses the god of day!



It was an easy matter to engraft despotism upon a society morally,
politically, and economically ruined by the slaveholding oligarchy.
The Cæsars and the emperors inaugurated and developed it, and at
that time nothing else would have suited Rome. Domestic slavery had
destroyed the republican spirit, and the vitality of ancient republican
institutions. The political condition of the empire--that world-ruling
despotism--under the Cæsars and the emperors[14] was the legitimate
result of chattelhood and of oligarchism. Political and domestic
slavery now went hand in hand, both of them supreme over man and

During the reign of the six Cæsars, rural as well as urban slavery
rapidly began to be reduced to method and to legal forms. Augustus
tried to modify somewhat the cruel treatment of the slaves: he
abolished, for instance, the custom of branding their cheeks with a
hot iron, and ordered instead that they should wear metallic collars.
It came into vogue, also, that a woman who had given birth to three
children was free from hard labor the rest of her life; if she had four
she became wholly free.

The slave traffic was very active over all the imperial Roman world
during the whole period of its existence, and was the most lucrative
branch of commerce. It was also strictly adjusted by police regulations.

Augustus likewise made efforts to morally re-invigorate, so to speak,
the decaying oligarchy; but this attempt was even more unsuccessful
than the former. Every person who is even slightly acquainted with
history must be familiar with the absolute degradation of the
oligarchs, capitalists, and rich slaveholders of imperial Rome.
Tiberius despised them and tyrannized over them with a cold-blooded and
contemptuous cruelty only equalled by the manner in which they crushed
their chattels, or the populace of Rome, whom they had impoverished and
degraded. For then, as for centuries before, the oligarchy looked with
as much contempt on the working-classes as the modern slave-drivers do
on "greasy mechanics." But, in the eye of history and humanity, it is
the "greasy mechanics" and "small-fisted farmers" of the free states
who are the glorious lights which redeem the dark side of American
polity as embodied in the slave-driving chivalry.

In fact, the Roman oligarchs were far more degraded than their
chattels. "_Turpis adulatio Senatus_," said Tacitus; and the names of
Druses, Germanicus, Britannicus, Chærea, Trasea, and a few others, can
never redeem the infamy of a whole community.

The numbers of slaves owned by the wealthy, was, as it were,
proportionate to their degradation. Athenæus says that some rich men
had from ten to twenty thousand slaves, and the statement is confirmed
by Seneca. Cæcilius Isidorus, a rich _particulier_ living under
Augustus, lost a great part of his fortune in the civil wars, and yet
left by will 4116 chattels; Elius Proculus, on his estates in Liguria,
had two thousand slaves able to bear arms; Scaurus, a wealthy senator,
owned 4116 chattels, exclusive of shepherds and tillers; Eumolpus, a
simple citizen--not one of the oligarchs or F.F.V.'s of that time, but
rather a _parvenu_--had so large a number of slaves on his estates in
Numidia, that with an army of them he could have stormed and taken the
city of Carthage, which, although reduced from its former grandeur, was
still among the first cities of Africa. Under Nero, half of Africa was
owned by six slaveholders: Nero slaughtered them and inherited their

Such was the rapidly developed internal condition of the Roman state
when Pliny dolefully exclaimed: "_Latifundi perdidere Italiam moxque
provincias_:" "Large extended estates (cultivated by slaves), ruined
Italy, and soon after the provinces," as even Spain and Gaul were
quickly devoured by the large slaveholders.

The condition and treatment of the slaves inspired pity even in a
Claudius. He prohibited the custom of starving to death the old and
disabled slaves, who had generally been exposed on an island in the
Tiber, upon which was a temple of Esculapius. By the Claudian edict,
such exposition was equivalent to emancipation. Even Nero had some pity
for the slaves, though he had none for their masters. The emperors
were terrified at the increased ravages of slavery, which spread in
continually wider and wider circles over Gaul and Spain as well as in
Africa and in the east. Edicts were issued by several emperors--as
Adrian and the Antonines--designed to stay the spread of slavery and
alleviate the condition of the chattels. These edicts encouraged
manumissions either absolute and immediate, or gradual, and conferred
the same municipal rights as were enjoyed by the enfranchised. The
_latifundia_, or large estates, nevertheless, still increased their
size; and the condition and relations of landed property required new
laws and new legal definitions, which were gradually introduced into
the _jus civile_. First in order were the common usages of the people,
and then the legalization of their customs. Thus it is not till toward
the end of the second Christian century that there are found in the
Roman law definitions of slaves as persons attached perpetually to the
soil. But their classification was so complicated, that it becomes
difficult, if not impossible, to define distinctly the various grades,
or to exhibit clearly the features in which one differs from another.
The necessities of the imperial treasury were probably the cause of
such divisions as those of _adscriptitii_, _censiti_, _perpetui_,
_conditionales_, _coloni_, _inquilini_--both of old republican
origin--_simplices_, _originarii_, _homologi_, _tributari_, _addicti
glebæ_, _agricolæ_, _aratores_, _rustici actores_, _etc._ In course of
time, also, all these names were merged under the general denomination
of serfs, which again assumed various degrees of oppression and

Augustus is proverbially said to have pacified the world; and indeed,
with few exceptions, the Roman empire enjoyed internal peace during
the first two Christian centuries. But under Claudius, during the war
with Tiridates of Pontus, the entire population of some of the captured
cities was sold into slavery, as were also one hundred thousand Jews,
when Jerusalem fell under Vespasian. There were now, however, no more
rich cities or cultivated countries to be conquered, no peoples to be
enslaved by millions, as there had been under the republic; wars now
were waged only on the outskirts of the empire, and generally with
barbarous nations. Prisoners of war, captives and subdued barbarians,
were no longer sold into slavery, but the emperors colonized the
waste lands with them. They thus attempted to repeople Italy and the
provinces, and to revive the ancient mode of rural economy, as also
to increase the revenue of the imperial treasury. Such colonizations
were frequent after the time of Marcus Aurelius. But all this could not
stop the growth of the social cancer. Chattelhood, encouraged, as will
be shown by political slavery and taxations, was wildly rampant, and
overleaped every barrier to its progress which the emperors attempted
to raise.

During the whole epoch of the growth and maturity of domestic slavery
in Rome, no one of her moralists, philosophers, poets, priests or
satirists ever preached or sang of the idyllic beauties of slavery;
none of her statesmen considered it as the foundation, corner-stone
or cement of society or of the empire, or even as "ennobling"[15] to
the slaveholder, and orations and discourses in exaltation of human
bondage were unknown. Pliny, Seneca and Plutarch only spoke of it in
extenuating language.

The Roman jurisconsult of the better times of the empire crystallized
into legal form the sense of justice and equity inherent in the Roman,
nay, in human society. He expounded the law for the _de facto_ existing
society, and therefore generally in favor of the owner, slaveholder,
etc., and against the thing, the _res_, which was the chattel. The
object of the Roman law was only to regulate existing relations, and
such was domestic slavery. But with all its unbending severity, the
Roman law, through the conscientious voice of the Roman jurisconsult,
declared slavery a condition, "_qua quis dominio alieno contra naturam
subiicitur_," and rarely missed an occasion to favor the slave, to
alleviate his status, and to facilitate his emancipation. No clause
or decision of the law re-enslaved, in any case, the chattel once
emancipated. Even if a will provided for the emancipation of a slave in
terms like these: "I will and command that my slave A becomes free; but
upon condition that he live with my son, and if he refuses or neglects
to do this he returns to slavery," the law decided, that "A, being
emancipated by the first paragraph of the will, cannot be re-enslaved
by the subsequent conditional paragraph; therefore A is free, and he
may or may not fulfil the condition."

The child also followed the condition of the mother when born from
illicit intercourse, _nisi lex specialis alius inducit_. If the father
was a slave and the mother a free woman, the child was free, _quia non
debet calamitas matris ei noceri qui in utero est_--"the misfortune
of the mother shall not bear on the product of the womb." A change of
the status of the mother from liberty to slavery during pregnancy was
always construed favorably to the child, who thus might be born free
if the mother was free for even the shortest time during the period of

Under the emperors, freemen began to sell themselves into slavery--a
thing unknown during the existence of the republic. But a freeman who
sold himself into slavery, if afterward manumitted, could not become
again a full citizen. And whoever was once emancipated could on no
pretence be re-enslaved, under penalty of death.

Modern pro-slavery legislators and jurisconsults boldly overthrow all
these Roman ideas of justice and equity.

The law established various _just_ causes for emancipation. Among these
were, natural relationships, as children, brothers, sisters, mothers,
cousins, grandparents, etc., when slaves; and whoever _ad impudicitiam
turpemque violationem servos compellat_, lost his _potestas_, or power,
over the slave.

These facilities for emancipation operated principally in favor of
the urban chattels, or those of the household proper, and also rural
overseers, but were rarely applied to the rural slaves; consequently,
during the most brilliant period of the existence of the empire, the
cities were filled with enfranchised slaves of various kinds and
various nations. The country, too, was altogether abandoned by the
slaveholders, who lived and rioted in the imperial city. Most of these
emancipated slaves, as also, indeed, many of the free-born citizens,
finally lost their liberty by the operation of those causes which,
notwithstanding emancipations and state colonizations, continually
increased the _latifundia_ or large estates, and transformed into
bondmen the freeholders as well as those who rented land from the state
or from private individuals.

The civil administration of the Roman empire, heathen and Christian,
down to its last agonies in Constantinople, may be very briefly
summed up: it was _fiscality_. Every administrative measure aimed
at replenishing the imperial exchequer. The imperial treasury was
bottomless, and its owners cold, rapacious, cruel and insatiable.
All the colonizations of free laborers had for their single aim but
to increase the income of the state; and tributes and taxations of
every conceivable kind were imposed, first upon the provinces, and in
course of time, on Italy itself. These, of course, were principally
supplied by the laboring classes in the cities and on the lands.
The rapacity of the state was heightened also by the individual
greed of the magistrates, from the prefects down to the meanest
military or political official or tax-gatherer; indeed, locusts more
destructive than the Roman officials never devoured the fruits of toil
or the accumulations of industry. These fiscal measures and lawless
extortions, fostered chattelhood almost as much as wars and conquests
had formerly done.

The _inquilini_ and _coloni_ of the last century of the republic
were free, rent-paying farmers (who paid the rent in money), or free
laborers. When, after the time of Sylla, the republican oligarchs
partially enslaved these farmers, the rent had to be paid in kind,
in sign of dependence, if not of absolute bondage. The colonists
settled by the emperors also had to pay tribute and submit to various
other servitudes; and thus the once free colonists were, by a slow
but uninterrupted process, transformed into bondmen, serfs and
slaves. As in the last days of the republic, so under Augustus and
his successors, the free yeoman or colonist, in order to avoid being
violently expelled from his homestead and shut up in the _ergastulum_
with the chattels, frequently sold himself and his little property,
on certain conditions, to the rich and powerful slaveholder, and thus
secured patronage and protection. In proportion as exaction, oppression
and lawlessness increased under the emperors, so also did the forced
or voluntary submission of colonists to influential slaveholders. As
the imperial tax-gatherer was wont to sell the children of the poor
for tax or tribute, the peasant often preferred to become a slave in
order to obtain protection from his master, who became responsible to
the treasury for the taxes of the bondman and his lands. Frequently
whole villages of colonists thus gave up their rights for the sake of
patronage and protection.

The exchequer had a roll inscribed with the names of all the
colonists on the domains belonging to the state, the cities, or to
private individuals. From this census for taxation was derived the
legal designation, and afterward the condition of _adscriptus_. And
the imperial government, whose sole object was to gather taxes and
have responsible tax-payers, had little if any objection to this
transformation of colonists and their homesteads into the bondmen of
the rich. The change was not made at once by any special law,[16] but
was brought about by the slow progress of social decomposition. When
the serfdom of the colonists first became an object of jurisprudence--a
little before and under Theodosius--it had already existed as a fact;
and _ex facto nascitur jus_ was an old axiom of the civil law. By and
by slaves proper--that is, movable chattels, not persons attached
to the soil--both in the city and on the lands, were taxed on the
plantation roll; and Constantine prohibited the sale of chattels from
one province to another, most probably with the view of facilitating
their control by the tax-gatherer.

Rapacious taxation, the first outgrowth of imperial despotism which was
originated by the slaveholders, forced into the grip of the oligarch
all that remained of free soil and independent labor, or what was
intended to be such by the colonizing emperors. The same cause also
disorganized the ancient municipal regime in the cities of Italy and
throughout the Roman world.

The _curia_ of Italian cities, and afterward of all other cities
privileged with Italian law, constituted the body politic of each
municipality. The most influential and wealthy citizens, therefore,
were _curiales_; next to them were _municipes_, common burghers,
small traders, etc.; then clients, free plebeian proletarians,
the enfranchised, etc. The _decurions_ or city senate, and other
dignitaries called patrons, protectors, etc., administered the affairs
of the city; these and all other offices were light and honorable while
the cities were flourishing, as in the first two centuries of the
empire; but even then, various legal immunities released _curiales_
from performing public municipal service. During the peace enjoyed by
the Roman world in the early times of the empire, the taxes, tolls,
excises, _venalicium_, etc., imposed on Italianized cities, were
moderate. These cities were then rich; they accumulated and loaned
capital; they owned slaves and extensive domains. By means of their
slaves they erected those public edifices and monuments whose splendor
rivalled those of Rome and whose ruins are still in many places
preserved; and the administration of the revenues and the honors of the
city were in the control of rich oligarchs and slaveholders. The same
accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, existed in the cities
as in the country, as the same oligarchs generally lived in the city,
and indeed necessarily belonged to some _municipium_; for in the Roman
world the whole political and civic status was exclusively embodied in
and bestowed on the city; and the country, as such, had no political or
civil significance.

Thus, even during the most brilliant periods, the numerous free persons
in the cities became more and more impoverished, and lived by _panem
et circenses_, as in Rome. Under this deceitful glitter, the disease
slowly undermined the prosperity of the cities, and the first shock
revealed the terrible reality. Soon fiscal rapacity seized hold of
every thing both in the Italian and Italianized cities. Not only the
poorer classes but even the wealthy began to feel it. One after another
the cities lost their domains and their treasure, and thus lost the
means to sustain their internal administration. With the growing
imperial rapacity increased also the danger and the difficulties of
public office, as the _decurions_ and other officials were responsible
to the imperial treasury for all the taxes and imposts levied upon the
city. The rich men, patrons, etc., now used extensively their right
of exemption from office, and excused themselves from public service
in proportion as the fiscal pressure increased, and as they found
it more lucrative to profit from general calamities than to attempt
to avert them. Besides, taxes for the central exchequer were to be
imposed and levied as well as taxes for the local administration of
the cities. All this finally almost entirely crushed the impoverished
burghers, and in the second century large numbers of burghers were
inscribed in the _curia_. First the poorer shopkeepers, artisans,
and small property holders, and then almost all the _viles_, with
the exception of the _infames_--that is, those who at any time had
undergone any infamous condemnation--became _curiales_. Taxes on lands,
houses, and slaves, and also on persons (_per capita_), increased
almost daily, and were imposed under various guises and new names. All
handicraftsmen, tradesmen, and merchants, had to pay special taxes,
and the poorest plebeian had to pay a _capitatio_ or _illatio_. When
the cities had thus been reduced to poverty, and were obliged to tax
themselves heavily to sustain their existence, the severest of all
labor was to be a city official, and every one tried to avoid public
honors, as even to be a _curialis_ was considered a heavy calamity.
The surplus of the poor free population, no longer supported by the
magistrates or _decuriones_, abandoned the cities and became colonists
on the imperial domains, on the remaining city domains, or on private
lands; and there sank deeper and deeper into the mire of slavery. Soon
the _curiales_ began to follow the plebeians, in order to escape from
their privileges and dignities. With this, however, an imperial edict
interfered, and small proprietors, curiales, etc., were prohibited
from selling their property. The eventual acquirer of such property
was made _ipso facto_ curial, and responsible for both past and
current taxes, and the other exactions and servitudes imposed. The
law put various other impediments on the personal liberty of poor but
taxable curiales: they became bondmen of the state or of their own
municipality; they could not change their residence, and suffered
innumerable annoyances. The curiales, thus goaded, often preferred even
the hateful military service on the utmost frontiers of the empire:
they voluntarily entered the legions, in order to be exempted from
taxation and the grip of the imperial and municipal tax-gatherer. More
of them, however, chose rather to seek patrons, and became bondmen
to the rich, the slaveholders, and exempted persons, giving both
themselves and their property to their protectors. Thus frequently the
impoverished descendants of former _honoratiores_ became first bondmen
and then slaves. During that long epoch of grinding oppression and
taxation, the division and subdivision of the community into classes
and grades originated. This classification was based on pursuits and
occupations, and also according to the imposts levied on each class,
from the magnate--as the rich social successors of the oligarchs were
now called--down to the lowest laborer and chattel. Finally, the whole
property in the Roman world--the country, the city, the lands, houses,
and slaves--was centred in the hands of a few magnates, who owned
incalculable numbers of colonists, bondmen, serfs, and chattels.

The famous Roman legions were recruited from yeomen, plebeians, workmen
and colonists; in one word, from the free population. When freemen
diminished, foreigners and barbarians were hired and enrolled. Sylla's
military murderers were in great part Spanish Celts; and after Sylla
and Marius, foreigners entered more and more into the composition
of the Roman armies. Caligula had a kind of body-guard composed of
Germans; and soon all the nations conquered by Rome were represented,
not only in the armies, but even under the imperial canopy. Then
arose the intestine wars for imperial power carried on by pretenders,
each _proclaimed_ by some province or legion. These wars resulted in
slaughter, devastation, ruin and universal misery; and thus enlarged
the number of slaves, and powerfully revived the slave traffic, which
survived the downfall of heathenism and the Roman world.

Domestic slavery, acting through long centuries, brought about a
thoroughly diseased and depraved condition of society, which, in turn,
reacted upon its producing cause, exacerbating and intensifying it. The
result was, that domestic slavery quite overmastered the ancient Roman
world. At the melancholy period of Rome's disruption, the high-souled,
patriotic citizen--that compact and columnar type of character--had
become quite extinct, and in his place were large slave-owners,
slave-drivers, and slave-traders. The masters and protectors of Rome
were foreigners and barbarians. The slaveholders could not defend
the empire, and beneath them was a degraded population of so-called
freemen, and millions of serfs and slaves, all of them without a spark
of love for their country, and destitute even of material incitements
to urge them to defend their homes or uphold the existing condition of
society. None of them had any interest to sustain their slaveholding
masters or the fiscality of the empire; and at times the lower classes,
the slaves especially, even joined the invaders. Thus, when Alaric
appeared before Rome, over forty thousand slaves joined his camp.

Such was the condition of the Roman world and its western provinces,
Spain and Gaul, when the avalanche from the north burst upon it with
its torrent of invaders. The oligarchic slaveholders, having destroyed
the republic, transmitted to the Cæsars a society which had through
their means become utterly degenerate and depraved. The emperors,
in their turn, transmitted to the new era a world putrescent with
domestic slavery. Often does a virus eat its way so deeply into a
healthy organism, as to change its very character and the conditions of
its existence. Then the morbid disorganization becomes an apparently
normal condition, until finally life is altogether extinct. Such was
the effect of chattelhood on the Roman world, and especially on Italy,
which was the soul and centre of the system. Nor does it require any
great apprehension to see how the tragic analogy holds in the case of
the Southern States of the North American confederacy.


[Footnote 14: The Cæsars proper end with Nero, and then begin the
emperors of various families and even nationalities.]

[Footnote 15: See speech of Senator Mason of Virginia.]

[Footnote 16: So to-day no law creates or gives a definition of
"sand-hillers," "clay-eaters," and other brutalized poor whites in the
South, who are rapidly approaching slavery.]




_General History, Ecclesiastical History, Councils, Bulls, etc._

Christianity appeared for the purpose of effecting a regeneration
in man's moral nature; this necessarily included also his social

The primitive Christians, apostles, and martyrs, by their words,
actions, and death, taught charity, brotherly love, and equality before
God; and thus slowly but powerfully undermined slavery. They consoled
in every possible way their lowly and suffering brethren, and tried
to inspire the slaveholders with feelings of charity and benevolence
toward their bondmen; but as the apostles did not attack any prevalent
social or political evil, nay, even seemed to countenance, by their
silent recognition or their advice, the existing imperial despotism,
so, for obvious reasons, they could not directly attack domestic
slavery nor proclaim universal emancipation. They preached to slaves
and slaveholders, made converts from both, and considered and treated
both as equal before God and the law. The few words of apostolic
consolation which have been transmitted to us as referring especially
to chattels, logically and morally contain a condemnation of slavery,
for it is only misfortune and evil that inspire pity or require
consolation. So that the apostles and primitive Christians, by advising
slaves to bear their yoke patiently, thereby proclaimed slavery to be
an evil, like any of the sufferings, losses, or misfortunes of life.

When, under Constantine, Christianity was embodied in a national
ecclesiasticism, the Church watched more directly over the condition
of the slaves. In various ways it tried to alleviate their condition
and effect their manumission; and this it urged the more earnestly as
the Christians belonged mostly to the poorer classes, and also numerous
serfs and slaves.

But the Church had now become a material fact, and henceforward, beside
its legitimate moral aims, it had also worldly and selfish desires.
It received imperial and private donations, became a large proprietor
of lands, and therefore also a holder of slaves and serfs. It could
therefore take no distinct interest in emancipation, but nevertheless
still continued to inspire slaveholders with a milder spirit, and
tried to prevent, as far as possible, the slave traffic, at least in
Christian chattels.

None of the apostles, fathers, confessors, or martyrs of the Church
ever affirmed slavery to be a moral and divine institution, or ever
attempted to justify it in any way. These primitive Christians and
holy fathers never once thought to refer to the curse of Noah as a
justification of slavery. The Biblical story of Noah and his curse was
first dragged into this question by the feudalized mediæval clergy, to
justify the enslavement, not of black Africans but of white Europeans,
among whom, undoubtedly, were the ancestors of many blatant American
supporters of the divine origin, on Biblical authority, of slavery.

When the Roman empire was broken in pieces by the northern invaders,
the body of the Roman Church and clergy belonged to the subdued and
enslaved race. The Franks, Northmen, and Anglo-Saxons were then
altogether heathen; but many of the invaders--as the Visigoths and
Ostrogoths, the Vandals, Burgundians, Heruli, and Longobards--were
Christians; but, being Arians (Unitarians), they were enemies of the
Trinitarians, and treated the Roman clergy as they did the rest of the
subdued population. The Roman clergy, however, finally succeeded in
superseding the Arian dogmas by their own, and they then constituted
the sole expounders of Christian doctrine. Moved then by the Christian
spirit, as well as by consanguinity with the enslaved population,
they never failed to impress on the conquerors, whether heathen or
Christian, their duties toward their slaves. They also continued to
promote manumissions by declaring them meritorious before God. These
manumissions were performed at the sacred altar with all the pomp
and impressive rites of the Church, and were often extorted from the
slaveholding barbarian in his last agonies.

As before, so during the first centuries of the Germanic settlements
of Western and Southern Europe, the Church never recognized the right
of one man to enslave another; but rather through the voice of Gregory
the Great, bishop, pope, or saint, reaffirmed the ancient axiom of the
Roman jurist: "_Homines quos ab initio natura creavit liberos--et jus
gentium jugo substituit servitutis_." The efforts of Gregory the Great,
as also those of his predecessors and successors, were directed toward
stopping the infamous slave traffic, first in Christian slaves, and
then in Jews, Mussulmans, and all heathen. The Roman Church and its
leaders unceasingly condemned the slave-trade, and the popes menaced
with excommunication the traffickers in Mussulman prisoners in Rome,
Lyons, Venice, etc., as also those Germans who afterward, in the ninth,
tenth, and eleventh centuries, enslaved the prisoners of war which they
made among the Slavonic tribes, Christian and heathen. The popes have
likewise perpetually condemned the African or negro slave-trade, from
its beginning down to the present day. Gregory XVI. interdicts "all
ecclesiastics from venturing to maintain _that this traffic in blacks_
is permitted under any pretext whatsoever;" and prohibits "teaching in
public or in private, in any way whatever, any thing contrary to this
apostolic letter." Explicit words of this tenor, coming from the pope,
were generally considered as expressing the spirit of the Papal Church.
In the Roman, as in all other churches and sects, however, both clergy
and laity were wont to interpret all such mandates according to their
own convenience.

For reasons formerly alluded to, the various national ecclesiastical
councils held in countries politically reconstructed by German
invaders--as Spain, France, and England--repeatedly and explicitly
legislated on slavery. These councils had it constantly in view to
moderate the general treatment of slaves and bondmen, and to prevent
mutilation and other cruel modes of punishment. The churches were
proclaimed inviolable places of refuge for fugitive slaves, and while
emancipation was urged as meritorious, the enslavement of freemen was
visited with excommunication.

Soon, however, the Church, that is, the priesthood and hierarchy,
came to form an integral part of the feudal system. The higher clergy
shared the public spoils, and had fiefs and other estates stocked
with serfs and chattels. Then the fervor for emancipation abated;
nevertheless, the clergy generally recommended a humane treatment of
the enslaved. The Irish clergy and councils perhaps proved themselves
the most disinterested at that early mediæval epoch: they were the
"underground railroad" of the period--assisting in the escape of slaves
from bondage; and a council held in Armagh in 1172, gave _liberty_
to all _English_ (that is, Saxon) slaves in Ireland. Nowadays, on
the contrary, the immense majority of the Irish Roman clergy on this
continent support and sanction chattel slavery.

In the course of time the clerical hierarchies, monasteries, etc.,
inoculated with the feudal and baronial spirit, became as zealous for
the preservation of even the most revolting forms of servitude imposed
upon the bondmen, as the most rapacious lay barons could possibly have
been. Nowhere did the clergy raise its voice for either a total or a
partial abolition of bondage.

Serfdom, which had long previously vanished from Italy, was, at the
appearance of Luther, on the point of dissolution in England. The
father of the religious reformation of Germany rather avoided blending
social with spiritual reform; but the French and Swiss reformers, as
well as the anabaptists and other sects, kept especially in view the
amelioration of the condition of the oppressed masses. In general, the
great movements for a freer spiritual activity which characterized the
sixteenth century, contributed to promote the emancipation of serfs:
and this first by purifying and elevating the public conscience, and
then by bringing about the secularization of church property. The
state, on becoming the heir of the clergy, was everywhere foremost in
abolishing servitude: the ecclesiastical corporation, on the other
hand, never labored for its abolition.

Among the various religious bodies--the Quakers and the modern
Unitarians excepted--the absoluteness of Christian doctrine and
morals has always been greatly modified by worldly interests. Not the
Episcopal nor Scottish churches, nor indeed any other denomination, can
claim the merit of having begotten the noble sentiment so universal in
England on the subject of human bondage. The Roman clergy continues,
as it always has done, to oscillate between duty and interest; and the
various Protestant sects do the same. And it is a significant feature
that in the American Union almost every religious denomination has its
pro-slavery and its anti-slavery factions.




_Cæsar, Dieffenbach, Picot, Amadee Thierry, etc._

The Gauls (_Gadhels_, _Gaels_ or _Gals_), a branch of the Aryas, were
the first historic race which peopled Central and Western Europe. It
is supposed that the Gauls (afterward wrongly called Kelts) emigrated
from Asia to Europe before the Greeks, Latins, or Slavonians, as
undoubtedly they did long previous to the Teutons or Germans. Already,
in prehistoric times, from the regions of the Danube to the Atlantic,
on the Alps and the Pyrenees as well as on the British and Irish
islands, these first wanderers left their marks in the names of rivers
and mountains. Gallia (Gaul) finally became their home, and from thence
they repeatedly issued forth and shook the ancient world, ravaged
Greece and extended their empire to Asia Minor on the east, and Italy
on the south. They burnt republican Rome in its very infancy, and for
centuries the Roman republic struggled for life and death with them,
until they were finally subdued by Cæsar.

The whole of Gaul was occupied by tribes more or less consanguineous,
and their internal social organization was in many respects similar.
Cæsar, in his bird's-eye view, says that the two dominant classes
were the druids and nobles, while under them were the "_plebs,
poene servorem habetur loco, quæ per nihil audet et nullo adhibitur
consiglio_." This only explains the absence or perhaps dormancy of
political rights. "_Plerique_ (not _all_, it will be noticed, but
_many_, and these mainly such as had suffered reverses of fortune)
_sesse in servitutem_ DICANT _nobilibus--in hos eadem omnia sunt jura
quæ dominis in servis_." This latter phrase only means that certain
relations between the chief and his dependents were similar to those of
master and chattel--being the only form of servitude known to Cæsar,
who did not understand the tribal organization on which the authority
of the chief was based.

Parke Godwin, in his highly elaborate and valuable History of France,
says very justly that "the Gallic society was a mere conglomeration of
chieftains and followers." After giving a picture of Gallic family life
and exhibiting the nature of the chieftain's power and functions, that
eminent writer thus continues: "The other members of the clan consisted
of a number of dependents in various degrees of subordination, and of
adherents whose ties were more or less voluntary." Among the dependents
were "bondmen (attached to the soil), debtor-bondmen, _obaerati_,
strangers found in the country without a protector or lord, and slaves,
captives of war or purchased in the open market." Thus far Parke Godwin.

Slaves, if indeed such existed among the Gauls at the time of Cæsar,
were certainly exceedingly limited in number, and chattelhood was not
an inherent condition of any part of the people. In his history of his
long wars with the Gauls, Cæsar makes no allusion to a slave-element in
the population--an omission which shows how insignificant it must have

The commercial relations of the Gauls with the Phoenicians and with the
Greek colony of Massilia, or Marseilles, probably tended to encourage
slavery among them. But although our knowledge of their internal
relations and domestic economy is very scanty, there are a few facts
which prove that domestic slavery was hardly even in an embryonic stage
at the epoch when the Gauls, by their contact with Rome and Cæsar,
entered the general current of history. The Massaliotes (or colonists
established at Marseilles), trafficked in slaves. They also had them
in their houses, but did not employ them on lands situated beyond the
precincts of the city. For field laborers they hired the Ligurians,
who, at given seasons, descended with their wives from the mountains
and worked for wages. Lands belonging to Gallic clans or districts were
no more worked by slave labor than were the fields of the Massaliotes.
Even in the households of the chieftains or nobles, domestic slavery,
if it existed, must have been hidden from sight. Possidonius, tutor of
Pompey, Cicero, and other eminent Romans, gives a description of the
mode of life and domestic customs of the Gauls, in whose country he
travelled. He observed, that at their luxurious feasts the guests were
served by the children of the family, instead of domestic slaves; which
fact authorizes the conclusion that the number of chattels was very
small, and that they had no place in family life.

Gallic slaves consisted of criminals, vagabonds, foreigners imported
from Massilia, and prisoners of war principally made from nations
beyond the Alps and the Rhine. Even after the invasion of the Kimbri
and Belgæ, Gaul was inhabited by tribes more or less akin to each
other. It was therefore the theatre of almost uninterrupted domestic
war between tribes and federations. But when one tribe was conquered by
another, the subject people and those who escaped the fury of battle
were not reduced to slavery, but simply became tributary, and received
their laws from the conqueror. Exceptions to this rule must have been
exceedingly rare. If an invading tribe was subdued, it received lands
and was obliged to settle among the conquerors. The founders of Rome,
as we saw (see "Romans: Republicans"), acted in a similar manner.
Prisoners of war were absorbed into the clan, and were held, perhaps
exclusively by the chieftain, in the condition of serfs bound to the
soil, but not as chattels or marketable objects; and they were neither
deprived of personality nor the rights of family.

The arable lands, forests, and pasturages were owned by the clan
collectively--the chiefs, of course, receiving the lion's share when
distributed for cultivation; and each clan lived on its own lands.
These agricultural clansmen it was who constituted the terrible
armies which, under various Brenni (chiefs, leaders, kings), so often
terrified and scourged almost the whole known world.

With the increase of the wealth and power of the chieftains, their
relations with the poorer clansmen became more aggressive, and the
lands were held by the latter under conditions more and more onerous.
But when Cæsar invaded Gaul, no large estates (_latifundia_) existed,
and the soil was in the hands of a numerous peasantry inspired with
patriotism and love of independence. This peasantry flocked to the
standard of Vercingetorix, and, to the last, sustained him in his
deadly struggle against Cæsar.

The living acoustic telegraph used by the Gauls during the wars with
Cæsar is another proof that great estates did not exist in Gaul, and
that the soil was tilled by freemen possessed of homesteads: for each
peasant, from the limit of his homestead, shouted the news to his
next neighbor, he to the next, and so on; and thus intelligence was
swiftly carried hundreds of miles even during the shortest day of the
year. An important event occurring in any one tribe was thus spread in
a twinkling all over Gaul. Now, if the country had been divided into
large estates worked by slaves, such a mode of communication would of
course have been impossible.

As the clans and their land were governed by chieftains and nobles, so
also were the cities under oligarchic rule. The free population in the
cities had no independent rights, and was obliged to have patrons.
The poor, the defenceless, and even the artisans, willingly enrolled
themselves for life under the clientship of the powerful nobility,
depending on them as the rural clansmen depended upon the chieftains
or rural nobles. But the condition of a client in the city was not
hereditary or transmissible, as was clanship in the country. The
_family_ of the client held no relations of dependency upon the patron;
and a son was not bound by obligations contracted by his father. When
the patron died, the bonds of his clients were severed, and they were
free to select another patron.

Such were the relations between the chieftains and clansmen, between
the nobility and the people, between the soil and its tiller, between
client and patron, when the Romans commenced the conquest of Gaul.
Impoverishment, debts contracted to their chiefs, and exactions of one
kind and another, may have transformed many independent clansmen into
partial bondmen; but they always preserved their family and village

After the numerous evidences already pointed out in the history of
the Greeks and Romans, it is unnecessary here to show how similar
morbid causes produced correspondingly destructive effects in the
crude civilization and social condition of the Gauls. The development
of these germs brought the Gauls almost to serfdom, if not yet
to chattelhood, at the same time degrading the character of the
oligarchs--future slaveholders--to the extent described by Cæsar.
This perversion of the internal economy of the Gauls prepared them for
domestic slavery. Thus often an insignificant derangement in the human
economy, or a trifling lesion in its organism, may find its ultimate
result only in permanent disorganization or in _death_.

The Roman conquest and the subsequent oppressive administration,
contributed to establish the same relations between the population
in Gaul as existed in Italy and Spain, and which have been already
described. The city (_municipium_) became all and every thing; the
clan, the district, the country nothing. The former chiefs of the
clans became the senators of their respective centres. The imperial
Roman administration favored the concentration of landed estates into
a few hands, and consequently the impoverishment of small landholders
and free laborers and operatives of every kind; and thereby greatly
increased the growth of slavery. The collective ownership of the
land by the clan and its chiefs became wholly transformed into the
individual property of the chief, who was now also a municipal senator
or magnate. A striking analogy to this is found in the Highlands of
Scotland, which, in the same way have become the property of a few
powerful families. The Gallic clansmen before being transformed into
chattels, first became tenants (_coloni_)--similar to those in imperial
Italy--of their chiefs (or _tierns_), who, on becoming senators, lived
in the cities, and were surrounded, not by clients and clansmen, but by
slaves. The estates now began to be worked by bondmen and chattels,
and thus a servile population succeeded to the free and sturdy yeomanry
of ancient times.

Not without a struggle, however, was this accomplished. The oppressive
taxation, the tyranny of the domestic oligarchs, and the devastations
committed by barbarians--the vanguards of the future destroyers of the
Roman empire--generated in the third century the repeated insurrections
of the _Bagaudes_ (the Gallic name for _insurgent_), that is, of the
peasantry against the cities. All the oppressed small land-owners,
tenants, serfs and slaves united in these insurrections.

The slave traffic was now very brisk. The Roman prefects, tribunes,
etc., sold the prisoners of war made in the German invasions; while the
Germans, in their turn, when successful, carried away or sold their
booty to the human traffickers from various regions. Thus Aurelian,
who was a military tribune previous to becoming emperor, sold several
hundred Franks, Suevians, etc., probably in the city of Maguncia
(Mayence). Soon the forays became more and more destructive, and for
several centuries invasion succeeded invasion until the impoverishment
and ruin of the people were accomplished. The issue of a long train
of interacting social circumstances was the same in Gaul as in Italy:
senators and oligarchs owned the lands and the cities, and proudly
domineered, while the rest of the population sank into tenants, serfs,
and bondmen, and most of them into chattels. These last had, of course,
nothing to defend against the invaders, who even at times in many ways
alleviated their condition: therefore the invaders were often received
with open arms by the enslaved populations. When the destroyers of the
Roman rule over Gaul finally settled therein, many of the nobles and
rich magnates understood how to ingratiate themselves with their new
masters, and thus shared in their spoils of lands and slaves. By far
the greater number, however, were themselves ruined and enslaved.

In Gaul, as over the whole ancient and Roman world, not the
slaveholders but their slaves survived the general destruction, nay,
finally stepped into the places once occupied by their enslavers and




_Tacitus, Codex Legum Antiquorum Barbarorum, Jacob Grimm, Mentzel,
Wirth, Puetter, Zimmerman, etc._

The Germans, in all probability, were the last of the Aryan stock who
immigrated into Europe. History first discovers them finally settled in
central Europe; and for how long a time they had previously roamed in
the primitive forests of these regions it is impossible to conjecture.
With the exception of the left bank of the Rhine, Switzerland, and the
northern slopes of the Tyrolean Alps--which regions, in the course of
centuries were conquered from various Keltic tribes--the Germany proper
of to-day is about the same as when Cæsar met the barbarians on the
Rhine. Then the Germans were rude savages, with but little agriculture;
living on milk, cheese, and flesh; and their condition was in many
respects similar, perhaps even inferior, to that of the Tartars,
Kalmucks, and Bashkirs, who still rove over northern and central Asia.

Neither clanship nor patriarchate existed among the Germans, but the
rule of individual will strengthened by the family ties. Divided into
numerous tribes, the Germans seem to have spent many centuries in
hunting the wild beasts of their primitive forests, and in making war
upon each other. Most probably these almost uninterrupted domestic
wars created and developed aristocracy and slavery, both of which
were firmly established among the Germans when they first appear on
the record of history. Among the European descendants of the Aryas,
the primitive Germans reflect most strikingly the Euphratic story of
Nimrod, "the strong," "the hunter," subduing the feeble and preying
on his person and labor. A bitter hatred between the tribes prevailed
from time immemorial; and consequently feuds and wars were perpetual.
The conquered was compelled to labor for the conqueror; and thus
originated, very probably, bondage and domestic slavery, as well as
the aristocratic contempt which the fighting part of the population
had for the subdued and enslaved laborers of a tribe. When one German
tribe subdued another, the victors either seized on the lands of the
conquered and settled thereon, transforming the former occupants into
bondmen; or, if they did not settle among the subdued, they made them
tributaries, carrying away a certain portion of the population as
slaves. Thus the Germans, in their wild forests, were mainly divided
into two great social elements--the freemen, or nobles, possessed of
all rights, and the bondmen possessed of none. But all, free and slave,
were of kindred race and lineage.

All the German dialects have a specific denomination for the chattel.
_Schalch_, _scalch_, _schalk_, is the word for slave, and _seneschalk_
for the overseer. Afterward, in mediæval times, _seneschalk_ was an
office, dignity, or title.

Besides wars and conquests, there were other sources which fed and
sustained slavery: thus certain crimes were punished with slavery, and
even freemen gambled away their liberty--a custom found among no other
race or nation; a freeman, likewise, could at any time sell himself
into slavery. Any one condemned to compound in money for murder or any
other offence, if he had no money, gave himself as a slave into the
hands of the family or individual whom he had offended, or to the man
who loaned him money to pay the composition. The _schalks_ were more
absolutely in the power of their master than were the Roman slaves
under the empire, or even, if possible, than the chattels of the
American slave states. Although Tacitus says that masters killed their
slaves only when intoxicated or otherwise maddened with passion, the
barbarian codes and other historic evidence show that the _schalks_
were treated with the utmost cruelty, and even subject to be maimed
in various ways. Some historians who hold up the Germans as models of
social and civic virtue, attribute this cruelty to their contact with
the Romans, whose example they followed. But the influence of Roman
polity on Germany began only toward the end of the fourth century;
and many of the northern tribes, as the Saxons, Frisians, etc., did
not come under the influence of Roman, Christian, or any foreign
civilization till about the eighth century. Some of these barbarian
codes were written when the barbarians had settled on the Roman ruins;
then, undoubtedly, they incorporated some Roman ideas, and contained
laws bearing on existing relations; but still they were principally the
embodiment of their own immemorial usages. The Visigothic code, for
instance, was written very soon after they settled in Gaul and Spain,
long before the destruction of the Western empire, and consequently
could not have been seriously influenced by the legal conceptions or
customs of Rome.

Tacitus says that little difference existed between the mode of life of
masters and slaves: _Inter eadem pecora in eadem humo degunt._ At the
time of Diodorus Siculus, youthful male and female _schalks_ served at
the tables of masters, who were always willing to sell them for a jug
of wine.

In this primitive epoch of German historical existence, the pride of
blood and descent seems to have been deeply ingrained in the German
mind; and there was a strong aversion against corrupting the lineage
by intermarriage with a _schalk_ man or woman, even although they
were of the same race and family. Among the Saxons immemorial custom
even punished a _mesalliance_ with death. Thus the very ancestors of
many American slaveholders, now so proud of their Saxon blood, were
considered unworthy of marriage with their masters. But concubinage
with slave women was then common (as it now is in the South), whatever
Tacitus may say concerning German conjugal fidelity. The bastards
of parents one free the other slave, became serfs to the soil. If
a freeman married a slave woman, their children were _schalks_, and
sometimes the father even was reduced to slavery. A free woman marrying
a slave, might be killed by her parents or became a slave of the
king--when the Germans had kings in their new, post-Roman monarchies.
Most of these cruel legal customs, and many others found in the codes,
belong to the heathen epoch, to the period of pure Germanic existence
unadulterated by contact with the corruptions of civilized life. They
prove how deep was the Germanic contempt for the ignoble or unfortunate
among their own brethren; they show also the very ancient appearance of
slavery among them, and its violent and criminal origin, like that of
slavery always and everywhere.

Ancient usages and laws regulating inheritance perpetuate themselves
remarkably among peoples and nations. From their forests the Germans
transplanted the right of primogeniture over Europe. The land was given
to the males, while the daughters received the movables, _mancipia_,
and the schalks--a conclusive evidence that not alone bondage to the
soil, but positive chattelhood, prevailed in the primitive forests of

Cities and organized industry had then no existence. Freemen, _i.e._,
masters, had but a few crude wants, and these were supplied by the
work of the schalks in the dwelling or in the _hof_ (court) of the
master. In primitive prehistoric times, as in the time of Tacitus and
afterward, all the male and female household menials, peasants and
workmen, were _schalks_.

Manumissions were common, but depended wholly on the will of the
master. They could be obtained in various ways--might be bought with
labor, produce, money, etc. The manumitted did not, however, enter at
once into full enjoyment of the rights of freeman or master; indeed,
only his descendants of the third generation became fully purified
and capable of entering into the noble class. They then constituted,
probably, the inferior nobility or freemen, who were followers and
companions of the first class; and perhaps from them sprang the free
yeomanry, who originally possessed but small property and a small
number of schalks and serfs.

The fighting-men, or warriors, who subdued and enslaved other tribes,
or transformed into schalks the weaker members of their own tribe,
frequently located some of them on lands or homesteads which they
permitted them to cultivate for their own use, on condition of paying
a rent, generally in kind, and performing various other acts of
servitude. Such was the origin of the German _liti_, who afterward
constituted the common people.

The free, that is originally the _strong_, the _subduer_, was at the
summit of the whole German social structure. He was free because he
was absolute master over the weak, who had no power or strength in
himself or family, and therefore was rightless. The genuine meaning
of the word _frow_ (from which is derived _fri_, _free_, _freedom_,)
is "the right to own" land, _liti_ and _schalks_. From _frow_ comes
the _frowen_ "freemen," "rulers," "masters,"--the caste for which all
others existed. Land and schalks constituted the wealth of _frowen_
or nobleman, and to acquire them the German tribes exerted all their
warlike energies. All the remote Teutonic invasions, as well as those
of the mediæval times, were made principally for the acquisition of
land and slaves. The lands, conquered by the swords of the _frowen_,
were worked by the _schalks_.

The slave traffic existed and was highly developed among the
primitive Germans. It was carried on at the time of Tacitus, and some
investigators maintain that for long centuries it was the only traffic
known among the barbarous Germans; and slavery in its worst form was
in full blast in Germany when her tribes dashed themselves against
the Western empire. The slaves constituted more than half of the
whole Germanic population. Wirth, the most conscientious investigator
of the primitive social condition of the Germanic race, estimates
the proportion of freemen to slaves as one to twenty-four. All of
them--_frowen_, _adelings_, nobles of all degrees, followers, vassals,
_liti_ and _schalks_, lived the same simple, agrestic life. Rude in
mind and of vigorous bodies, in comparatively small numbers they
shattered in pieces the rotting Roman empire.

First the incursions, then the definite invasions and
conquests--Attila's forays from one end of Europe to the other--gave
a vigorous impulse to slavery, both abroad and at home. Abroad,
the invaders enslaved all that they reached--destroying, burning,
devastating, impoverishing the population, and increasing the number
of those forced to seek in chattelhood a remedy against starvation. At
home, immense tracts of land were depopulated and abandoned, and old
and new _frowen_, masters, seized upon them. Of course _schalks_ were
in demand, and were supplied by traffic and kidnapping.

The wars among the Germanic tribes, which were continued more or less
vigorously, and the wars with neighboring populations, increased the
number of slaves thrown upon the market.

The transition of a great part of Europe from the Roman to what may be
called the German world, was so terrible that for several centuries the
most unparalleled destruction, desolation, and slavery constituted the
principal characteristics of the first mediæval epoch.

But Europe, the Christian world, and humanity were not to be submerged
in the foul mire of chattelism. The awful crisis lasted through many
generations, and bloodshed and superhuman suffering were their lot. But
finally, the turning-point of the disease was reached: the disorder
began to yield. Often after such a crisis the malignant symptoms do not
abate at once, nay, they sometimes reappear with renewed force, and a
long period is needed for a complete recovery. So in the evolution of
Europe, overflowed by the German tribes, the most malignant symptoms
of chattelhood continued and reappeared for a long time in their
worst characteristics, before the social body entered the stage of

The bloody throes of the German world redounded to the benefit of the
nobles abroad and at home. _Liti_ and schalks increased, and land
rapidly accumulated in the hands of the few during the first centuries
of the German Christian era. Thus Saxony belonged to twenty, some say
to twelve nobles, who kept thereon half-free vassals, _liti_, and

As the oligarchs of Greece and Rome and Gaul, so the German _frowen_,
the powerful, the rich, in all possible ways, _per fas et nefas_,
seized upon the homesteads of the poor; and the impoverished freemen
or _ahrimen_, smaller nobles, and vassals, became _liti_ and schalks.
Analogous conditions produce analogous results in usages as in
institutions and laws; and often that which appears to have been
borrowed by one nation or people from another, is only a domestic
outgrowth germinating from similar circumstances.

When the German lay and clerical founders of the feudal system
possessed more land than they could cultivate, and when the iron hand
of Charlemagne prevented domestic feuds and the supply of slaves from
that source, then they kidnapped right and left, heathen and Christian,
poor freeman or schalk. Some of the feudal barons of the time of
Charlemagne owned as many as twenty thousand _liti_ and schalks.

Karl, Karle (the correct name), or Charlemagne (the more common
one), in one of his numerous edicts or capitularies, prescribes as
follows to those who received lands, baronies, abbeys, etc., as fiefs
or grants: "Et qui nostrum habet beneficium diligentissime prevideat
quantum potest Deo donante, ut nullus ex mancipiis (chattels) ad illum
pertinentes beneficium fame moriatur, quod superest ultra illius
familiæ necessitatem, hoc libere rendat jure prescripto."

Manumissions were promoted, in various ways, by the civil and clerical
authorities. Many free yeomen were created from manumitted slaves, as
well as from poor vassals or followers. But such were soon impoverished
by wars and devastations, and were, from various causes, reduced to the
condition of _liti_ and chattels.

Serfdom and slavery were generally more severe in the northern portion
of Germany, as Saxony, etc., than in the southern; but in both, the
peasantry were crushed, oppressed, and, when it was feasible, enslaved.
When Lothair I., grandson of Charlemagne, revolted against his father,
Louis the Pious, he appealed for help to the oppressed peasantry,
tenants, and chattels.

The centuries of the _faustrecht_--"right of the fist," that is
of the sword, of brute force--soon succeeding all over Germany to
Charlemagne's orderly rule, the strongholds of dynasts, barons,
nobles and robbers, shot out everywhere like mushrooms; and from
them radiated oppressions and exactions of every kind. The ancient
practice of ruining the poor freemen and tenants, then transforming
them into serfs, and then the serfs into chattels, went on as of
old. In proportion as the forests were cleared, however, the baron
found he could not profitably work the extensive estates with schalks
alone, and that it would be more economical to transform these chattels
into serfs, tenants, etc., and establish them on small parcels of his
property. This was the first feeble sign of amelioration. Villages
formed in this way by dynasts, or princes, and by barons, then received
some rudiments of communal, rural organization.

A more powerful engine of emancipation, however, were the cities. In
the course of the tenth century, dynasts, princes and emperors began
everywhere to found cities, endowing them with various franchises and
privileges. The legitimate flow of events, the necessities created
by a settled organic existence which could only be supplied by the
regular movements of industry and commerce, together with the influence
of Gaul, and above all, of Italy, stimulated the German rulers. To
the emperor Henry I., of the house of Saxony, belongs the glory of
having given the first impulse to commerce, and thus the first blow to
chattelhood and serfdom.

The population of the newly-founded cities consisted of inferior people
of all kinds--laborers, operatives, small traders, poor freemen, and
persons manumitted on condition of residing in the cities--the founders
of the cities originally peopling them with their own retainers and
with vagabonds of all kinds. Of course no nobles even of the lowest
kind became burghers, and thus the first municipal patricians were
of very inferior birth. Thus antagonism to barons and feudal nobles
generally formed the very cornerstone of the cities.

Among the privileges granted to the first cities was that a serf,
schalk, or, in a word, any bondman, seeking refuge in the precincts of
a city, became free if not claimed within a year. This respite to the
fugitive soon became a common law all over Germany, even between nobles
in relation to their fugitive serfs; and the hunter of a fugitive
lost caste even among the free masters--_freiherrn_. When a legal
prosecution was attempted, every difficulty, legal and illegal, was
thrown in the way of the claimant--the cities willingly resorting to
arms for the defence of their right of refuge.

The first Crusades emancipated large numbers of persons, as the
taking of the cross was the sign of liberty for serf and for slave.
But in Germany as in France, the great and permanent influence of the
Crusades on emancipation consisted in their strengthening the cities
and impoverishing the nobles, and thus producing a salutary change in
internal economic relations.

The wars of the Germans with their neighbors, and above all with the
Slavonians, Maghyars, etc., in the tenth and eleventh centuries, again
gave vitality to the slave traffic; and war prisoners and captives, not
now of their own kindred, but of foreign birth, were brought to the
markets for sale.

Nevertheless, chattelhood was slowly dying out, and about the twelfth
century but few traces of it remained: prisoners of war began to be
ransomed or exchanged, and villeinage, with various services attached,
altogether superseded domestic slavery.

The villein possessed the rights of family, of village, and partially
of communal organization. But many of the galling characteristics of
chattelhood were transfused into serfdom and villeinage. The nobles
became, if possible, more insolent, exacting and oppressive. But the
villeins and peasants began to feel their power, and to combine and act
in common in the villages, and afterward in the communes.

Partial insurrections followed each other in various parts of
Germany; here against one baron or master, there against another.
Every insurrection, even if suppressed, nevertheless gave an impulse,
though sometimes imperceptible, to amelioration and emancipation.
Insurrections of the down-trodden and oppressed classes are like
feverish efforts of diseased physiology to resist the disorder, to
throw out the virus, and restore the normal condition in the economy
of life. The whole world admires the glorious insurrection of the
Swiss-German peasantry against _their_ insolent masters. Then the
bondmen, villeins, etc., individually or in small bodies, by the axe,
by fire, and in every possible manner, protested their imprescriptible
right to liberty. So also did the celebrated Münzer when the
reformation dawned over Germany and Europe. He firmly believed that
religious reform, to be beneficial to the poor, must go hand in hand
with social ameliorations. The most notable insurrection, however, was
the great uprising of the German peasantry in the sixteenth century.
From the Vosgese mountains, from the Alps to the Baltic, numerous
isolated forces rose in arms, each inspired by the same great idea.
They had no centres, no possibility of a combination of effort, but
all of them recognized the same covenant: 1. The gospel to be preached
in truth, but not in the interest of their masters--nobles and clergy.
2. Not to pay any kind of tithes. 3. The interest or rent from landed
property to be reduced to five per cent. 4. Forests to be communal
property. 5. All waters free. 6. Game free. 7. Serfdom to be abolished.
8. Election of communal authorities by the respective communes. 9.
Lands robbed from the peasantry to be restored to the original owners.

This great war of the peasants was terrible, pitiless, bloody. More
than one thousand strongholds, burghs, and monasteries were destroyed;
but the peasants were finally overpowered, the nobility being aided
by the forces of the empire. Luther, too, thundered against the poor
peasants.[17] But not in vain did they shed their blood. The oppression
by the old _frowen_, strengthened by feudality, was finally broken at
the roots. The imperial German diet declared to the nobles, that if
they did not cease their cruelties, at the next revolt they should be
abandoned to their fate.

Serfdom was not yet abolished, but was moderated in various ways. The
direct and indirect influence of the Reformation on the condition of
the peasantry has been already mentioned. Mild reforms were introduced
in the dominions of various German sovereigns. Certain liberties were
granted to rural communes, and the number of free tenants slowly but
uninterruptedly increased. The conditions of villeinage on private
estates began to be regulated by the respective governments; and
absolute serfdom was slowly dying out. The prosperity of Germany
increased proportionally with the emancipation, though but partial, of
rural labor, and the freedom of the soil. On an average, those regions
were most prosperous which contained the greatest number of emancipated
rural communities, or where the villeinage was reduced, systematized,
and made more and more free from the arbitrary exactions of the master.

The peculiar political organization of Germany prevented any unity of
action in the extinction of rural servitude. Many of its features--some
relating to the person, but principally to the soil--survived even
to the present century in certain parts of the smaller German
states; and in Austria, Bohemia and Hungary, there is still room
for infinite improvement in the condition of the peasantry. But the
mortal disorder exists no more: the fundamental rights of man are
recognized. Governmental maladministration, injustice, oppressive
taxation, exactions by officials and landlords, are unhappily common;
but all these are in flagrant violation of established laws. And, bad
though they are, they cannot for a moment compare with the blighting
influences of chattel slavery.

For long centuries, and with persistent pertinacity, have slavery
and the oppression of man and his labor gnawed at the German
vitals; and centuries must elapse before the recovery of a normal
condition. But the Germans of the present day--moralists, statesmen,
savants and professional men, as well as artisans, mechanics and
agriculturists--are unanimous in condemning human bondage, whatever may
be the race enslaved. Few, indeed, are there of the great German race
whose minds are inaccessible to the nobler promptings of freedom and


[Footnote 17: See "America and Europe," by the present writer.]




_Leges Longobardorum, Cantu, Troya, Karl Hegel, etc._

The Western Roman empire was fatally permeated throughout with chattel
slavery. Domestic usage had made its German invaders also familiar with
the art and practice of enslaving: their conquest of Rome accordingly
but added strength and extension to the slave-edifice. For a longer or
shorter period, various German tribes ravaged Italy. The domination of
the Ostrogoths lasted for about sixty years, and the rule of Theodoric
the Great is recorded as among the best and wisest in that period
of devastation and oppression. Finally, the Longobards founded in
Italy a permanent establishment. At the first onset, the Longobards
reduced all, in city and country, to bondage: the magnate, the rich,
the slaveholder, as well as the workman, the poor, the serf and the
chattel, constituted their booty, and as such were divided among the

Some historians maintain that all free Romans,[18] rich and poor--a
few favored aristocratic families excepted--were deprived of the
rights of personal liberty and property by the Longobards; others,
however, assert that the free population was only made tributary, but
otherwise preserved their property, rights and laws. The conquerors
(as _hospites_, or quartered soldiers) generally took about a half
of the houses, lands and chattels of the conquered, and furthermore
compelled the primitive owner to pay them a tribute from what was left.
In Italy, the Longobards made the free Romans, rich and poor, tributary
to the extent of one-third of all which was left them from actual
confiscation; and Paul Diaconus--himself a Longobard--says: "_Romani
tributarii efficiuntur_." The artisans and traders, and indeed all
inhabitants of cities, likewise paid tribute. They could not move from
one place to another without the written permission of their Longobard
master; and in this way originated the system of passports for bondmen,
which is still maintained in our Slave States. Thus the Romans, once
proud and free, became but half free--a something between the positive
freeman, such as the Longobard alone was, and the still more reduced
tributaries, the _aldii_ or _aldions_, and the serfs. In brief, the
freemen, rich or poor, were made inferior in rights and in personal
liberty to the soldiers; the non-free, the ancient _colons_, etc., were
pressed a degree lower in servitude; and the condition of the domestic
chattels alone remained unchanged.

The Longobards, like all the other German warriors, disliked the
cities, and the chiefs and nobles erected their fastnesses outside
of them. The common soldiers receiving lands in different quantities,
formed the freeholders, yeomen, or _ahrimans_, and were bound to
perform military duty. Such was the origin of the feudal system, which
sprang up on the ruins of the Roman empire. The numerous cities of
Italy had no longer any political rights or signification, though they
still preserved some remains of former culture and civilization, and
even faint shadows of the former municipal regime. The imperial city
itself was not overrun by the Longobards, and from thence, as also from
the other cities of that part of Italy which belonged to the Eastern
emperors, some faint glimmerings reached the Longobard region and
tended to preserve ancient municipal traditions.

The influence of the Italian polity and culture at length began to
humanize the Longobards. Some of their laws concerning chattels and
slaves are more humane than were those under the emperors--more humane
than those now existing in our Slave States. For example, a master
committing adultery with the wife of his chattel lost the ownership of
both her and her husband, and had no further power over them. Various
regulations also protected the serf and chattel against a cruel master,
and punishment was not arbitrary, but was in many cases regulated by
law. Emancipations were encouraged and protected: King Astolf's edict
even proclaimed that it was meritorious to change a chattel into a
freeman. However, during the first period of their dominion, the
Longobards, like all the other German conquerors, in Spain, Gaul,
etc., and, above all, the feudal dukes and nobles, considered the blood
of the conquered as impure, and therefore far inferior to their own.

Industry and commerce gradually began to acquire vitality, and
the chattels began slowly to disappear from the cities, either by
emancipation, by purchasing their liberty, or by being established as
_aldii_ or serfs on their masters' lands.

The slave-trade was now confined principally to non-baptized
prisoners--whom the Christians of that epoch regarded as the progeny
of the evil one. Mahomedans, heathen, Germans, as the Anglo-Saxons and
others, from various nations and tribes, were more numerous in the
slave marts than were those born on the soil of Italy.

Under the Longobards, Italy again began to be more commonly cultivated
by numerous _colons_ with very limited rights, but still in better
condition than those of the preceding epoch; copyholders and
freeholders also began to increase, as has been already mentioned.
So that when the heavy clouds of the mediæval times began to break,
the condition of Italy was slightly improving; and when Karl, or
Charlemagne, put an end to the dominion of the Longobards, more land
was under culture, and the free though tributary population was
greater, both in the cities and the country, than on their first

The rule of the Franks, which succeeded that of the Longobards, did
not impair the condition of the Italians. Peace was beneficial to
labor, labor stimulated emancipation. Thus the number of _chattels_ was
more and more reduced, while the serfs, _adscripti glebæ_, increased.
But the disorders which succeeded the dismembering of the empire of
Charlemagne again ruined many free yeomen, ahrimans, and others owning
small homesteads, and obliged them to submit to the oppression of the
mighty nobles. Many of the dispossessed and impoverished, however,
sought refuge in the cities, where industry flourished in proportion
with the freedom of the workmen and operatives. Finally, about the
eleventh century, the _cities_ began to strike for their independence.
This was the time of the revival of the communal franchises in other
parts of Europe also; but the first spark was struck in Italy. Around
the standard raised by the cities crowded the serfs, rural and domestic
chattels, and all other kinds of bondmen and oppressed. This was, in
fact, the insurrection of these against the landed barons, nobles, and
oligarchs. All runaways found refuge and protection in the cities; and
hence arose the energy, the strength, and the democratic rancor of the
cities against the nobility and their strongholds.

In the second part of the mediæval epoch, throughout Italy and Western
Europe, prisoners of war were no more sold as slaves, but were ransomed
or exchanged. The Moors and Arabs (Mahomedans) were the sole marketable

All the Italian cities extended their dominion, acquired lands,
incorporated baronies, and regulated the relations between the owners
of the soil and the tenants. Domestic slavery was altogether extinct;
the cities were animated by free labor in their arts, industries and
handicrafts, and on the estates, the peasants, serfs and bondmen,
_adscripti glebæ_, became vassals obliged to follow the barons or the
cities into war; they became free tenants--first paying rent for their
land in kind, and then paying in money; and the number of freeholders,
and others holding homesteads, continually increased. Hunting for
absconded serfs now had an end. The cities and boroughs emancipated
all the villagers and serfs around them. In the course of the twelfth
century, personally degrading servitude of every kind almost wholly
disappeared; and the relations between the proprietor of land and
the farmer were established on the basis which, with more or less
modification, prevails to the present day.

In the ancient classical world, in Greece and Rome, domestic slavery
had its seat in the cities, and therefrom expanded over the land,
destroying the whole social structure. But now, the first shout for
liberty came from the Italian cities; the cities first emancipated
the laborers within their own walls, and then emancipated the rural
serf. Cities again became the centres of civilization; they nursed its
infancy, tended its first footsteps and gave it the free air of heaven:
they trained it not amid clanking chains and groaning chattels.

Thus does history annihilate the ignorant fallacy about Saxons and
Germans being the godfathers of social or political freedom.

Many evils and disorders undoubtedly remained and even yet remain;
but the sum of all evils--property in man and in his toil--was
utterly destroyed. Then came the brilliant epoch of the Italian
Lombard cities--the culminating glory of Italian civilization--whose
coruscating warmth set free the whole of Western Europe.


[Footnote 18: Romans as citizens of the empire and not of the city of




_Augustin Thierry, Henry Martin, Bonnemère, etc._

Domestic slavery, aggravated by the oppression of the poor, the
devastations of war, the insatiable necessities of the imperial
treasury, the confiscations of property during the reigns of bad
emperors, and other causes, ate into the very vitals of Roman Gaul.
It has been already shown how the ancient relations of clansman and
client merged successively into tributary _colons_, into _adscripti
glebæ_, and into chattels. At the period of the final assault of the
northern races on the Roman empire, in Gaul, as everywhere else, there
was no people behind the imperial legions except rich slaveholders and
poor degraded freemen, serfs and chattels; and the legions, too, were
mostly recruited from among vagabonds and barbarians. Long before this
time, Stilicon, in order to raise soldiers for his army, proclaimed
freedom to the chattels who should join his standard; and by this means
collected over thirty thousand men!

During the integrity of the empire, branches of the tribe of Franks
dwelt in parts of northern Gaul, either as colonists, or as allies who
recognized in the Roman emperor their lord paramount. From here they
dealt their conquering blows; they subdued to their rule the other
German races already established in Gaul, and laid the foundation of
the future Carlovingian empire, and finally of France.

The Franks permitted the conquered peoples to retain their own law,
which was the Roman, for all civil suits between Roman and Roman.
This benefited only the freemen--of whom there were but few--and the
rich, so that they could oppress the poor and treat them as they did
under the empire; for the Franks did not interfere in any of their
internal relations, legal or illegal. The rich and cunning Roman
magnates ingratiated themselves with their conquerors: they became
_antrustiones_ or commensals of the kings, thus acquiring a high
social and political status and influence; and there were many of them
among the powerful and influential aristocracy which sprang up under
the Merovingians. All the conquered paid oppressive tribute; and the
rich, as of old, used every means to increase their estates, serfs and
chattels from the booty and exactions made by the Franks.

But although the rights of the free Romans were thus recognized in
principle, their persons and property were by no means regarded as
sacred. The Franks divided the conquered lands among them in lots, and
often seized, along with the estate, the whole of the personal property
of a rich Roman magnate.

The Merovingians were almost continually at war among themselves, and
these wars were most ruinous to the cities and the rich free Romans.
When a peace was concluded, these Romans constituted the hostages for
both belligerent parties; and when a peace was broken, the hostages on
both sides were treated as prisoners of war; they became chattels, and
their property was confiscated.

The Roman cities became the property of the kings and chiefs, the lands
the property of the Frankish soldiery. The Franks also were perpetually
at war either among themselves or with their neighbors. Military duty
was a condition of the possession of land, so that Roman and other
slaves and bondmen cultivated the soil and worked for their conquerors.
During the imperial epoch, the opulent Gallic magnates and senators
lived in magnificent villas, like the Roman nabobs and oligarchs in
Italy, Spain, Africa, etc. During the early period of the invasions,
an owner would often fortify his villa and defend it with his armed
household and chattels. Such villas, changing masters, afterward, in
many instances, became feudal strongholds, around each of which grew
a village, which in the course of time became a borough, then a town,
and finally a city. In this way the Gallo-Roman villas gave rise to the
French name _village_ and _ville_.

In general, with the new Frankish conquest, oppression became
increasedly grievous, while the slave traffic, especially in prisoners
of war, received a new impulse. In the first storm the Roman fiscality
for a moment disappeared; but it was soon restored, and with it almost
the whole of the Roman administration. The Franks revolted against
taxation when one of the kings tried to apply it to them, but the Roman
populations bore its whole brunt. Tribute, taxes and other exactions
finally became so oppressive that the poor and impoverished sold their
children and sometimes even themselves into slavery. The Jews were
the common mediators and factors in this traffic, as well as the most
extensive slave-traders all over Europe, both then and in subsequent
times; and a considerable part of the hereditary hatred of the European
masses toward the Jews is to be ascribed to this historic fact.

The Frankish kings and their Frankish subjects had large estates,
_métairies_, worked by serfs and chattels. The conquerors hated the
cities, preferring the favorite old German life in the country, where
they spent their time surrounded by their followers. The lordly
mansions, the _sala_ of the kings and the powerful, were erected amidst
great forests in the style of encampments; and to this day the German
word _hoflager_, "court-camp," is the name for the residence or court
of a sovereign. Political power and prestige were no longer derived
from municipal citizenship, but from the possession of land; and thus
originated the feudal importance of the country and the barons, in
contradistinction to the now powerless _municipium_. In the Greek
and Roman world, the country was wholly sacrificed, politically and
socially, to the city, which, in turn, acquired more and more political
power and importance in proportion as domestic slavery destroyed the
primitive yeomanry. In the early stages of feudalism scarcely any
attention was paid to the cities; they are principally mentioned as
sources whence taxes and tributes may be largely squeezed.

In the Free States of the American Union, also, in the townships and
villages, the significance of the country has reached its highest and
noblest development. Here the free townships and villages are the
fountains of healthy political life, and the genuine source of all
civilizing agencies.

Under the Merovingians and Carlovingians, the frequent wars and
oppressions proved destructive not only to the natives but also to the
conquerors themselves. The Franks and other German landholders, by
their violent and disorderly mode of life, were soon impoverished and
became the prey of powerful neighbors of their own kindred. The savage
rigor of the law regulating composition for crimes quickly drained and
utterly destroyed the patrimonies of the reckless soldiery, and thus
rapidly increased the number of landless vagabonds, who were neither
tenants nor serfs, but became chattels to men of their own race, once
their companions and perhaps even their followers. At the end of the
second Salic dynasty very few free laborers existed, and kidnapping,
especially on the sea-coasts, became common.

Charlemagne, as previously mentioned, tried to regulate and alleviate
the condition of the bondmen and chattels. His capitularies forbade
the selling of chattels beyond the kingdom; and whoever violated this
law became a slave himself. Slaves were to be sold in the presence
of the count or the bishop, or their lieutenants, or notables, but
not surreptitiously, or from one person to another, without being
controlled by the authorities; and heavy fines also followed all
violations of this law. Notwithstanding all this, however, Norman
and Saracen wars and invasions, together with Frankish taxations and
exactions, kept the country in the same state of desolation as during
the centuries of the agonizing empire. Scarcely any towns existed, and
the few large cities were scattered at enormous distances one from the
other. Fastnesses, castles, burghs and fortified monasteries dotted
the land; even they, however, being separated from each other by great
forests and marshes. The poor and oppressed serfs and chattels were
hunted and kidnapped, and no place of refuge existed for them.

Under Charlemagne, public order and protection to the free tenants,
serfs and chattels, existed to as high a degree as was possible at that
epoch; but with his death all this disappeared. The crisis which then
occurred and which ended in consolidating the feudal social structure,
was even more terrible than the epoch of invasions. The poor classes
and the serfs and chattels, as we might suppose, suffered most. The
tenth century marks the triumph of the feudal _régime_, and with this
triumph chattelhood (_mancipium_) disappears from the laws and the
usage of the oppressive masters. The chattels now became hereditary
bondmen or serfs, and were no longer objects of sale or of traffic.
They could not be separated from their families, but were established
in villages; and the slave traffic was carried on solely in Saracens
and other heathen.

In all other respects serfdom preserved almost all the most revolting
features of ancient domestic slavery. The feudal lord employed the
serfs as tillers of his soil, and the harvests they raised were the
chief sources of his income; while they likewise formed his followers
in his feuds with feudal neighbors or with his lords paramount--the
counts, dukes, and kings. The feudal lord did not sell his serfs--as
the churches, synods, and councils all united in condemning the traffic
in Christians.

The present serf, tiller, and laborer, all over Western Europe, was
the younger, outlawed member of the human family, and so now are our
Southern chattels.

For a long time the difference between serfdom and ancient chattelhood
was discernible only with great difficulty. The collar worn by chattels
since the time of Augustus remained on the necks of the serfs (and
these, too, not _adscripti glebæ_), with the expression--"I BELONG," or
with the name of the master cut thereon. This was the custom in England
with the Anglo-Saxon serfs of the Athelstanes and the Cedrics, so that
the ancestry of the haughty Anglo-Saxon slaveholding American barons of
the present day wore collars!

The feudal order was firmly established. Below the social hierarchy,
composed of free fiefs, and estates belonging to nobles, churches,
and monasteries (all of them free from taxation and public servitude),
descend another social grade, whose only badges were humiliations,
sufferings, toils, and martyrdom. Servitude and serfdom had similar
gradations among the peasantry and workmen bound to the soil of their
feudal master as existed among the barons, nobles, abbots, etc., in
_their_ various relations and duties of vassalage.

A few towns and boroughs began to spring up from the same social soil
whence arose those of Germany. But the immense majority of the nobles
and owners of cities considered their inhabitants, at the best, as but
half free, as tributaries or _censitaires_, and continually attempted
to plunge them deeper into servitude and villeinage. The remnants of
the independent yeomanry, free tenantry, copyholders, etc., rapidly
disappeared. These descendants of the conquerors--of kindred race,
too, with the barons--accepted servitude in order to find patronage
and alleviation from further oppression, or else sought refuge in the
cities and towns, abandoning their homesteads, which were seized by the
feudal baron and annexed to his estate.

All along the twelve or fifteen centuries which extend from the decline
of the Greek and Roman republics and the first days of the empire down
to the consolidation of feudalism, it is evident that similar causes
were ever in operation, depriving the poor of their property, their
labor, and finally of their liberty--a result, too, brought about in
every case in an identical manner. In this, as in many other things,
the history of the human race and its disorders and woes is a record of
almost continuous analogies.

The smaller feudal masters, afterward called _hoberaux_, were generally
the most cruel and inhuman then, as well as afterward, during the long
protracted centuries of serfdom of the French peasantry. Tyranny always
becomes fiercer and more maddened in proportion as the circle of its
power and action is diminished. Is it not so also on American slave

It has been already mentioned, that the kings and the more powerful
feudal vassals began to erect towns, and that these towns served as
refuges for the homeless, and also for the serfs. The lesser nobles and
the feudalized clergy often upbraided the kings for thus depopulating
their estates; while the barons who owned the cities soon exasperated
their inhabitants by their exactions and cruelties.

Such were the prominent domestic and economic features of the times of
feudalism and chivalry in France, as over the whole of Europe. It is
for other reasons that, in the minds of some, a halo still surrounds
their memory and their name. But, penetrating behind that halo, what
a horrid spectacle of tyranny, oppression, and cruelty meets the
eye! The sham chivalry of our Slave States has not even the shadow
of such an aureola to hide its hideousness. The cruel and reckless
barons sprang from a reckless race, in an age of darkness: they had no
other traditions from the past, no other example before them. But the
American chivalry and knight-errants of slavery spit on all the noble
traditions transmitted by their sires. They have before their eyes the
spectacle of freedom generating prosperity in all ages. And yet with
all this do they deliberately turn their backs upon the light, and rush
heedlessly toward dark barbarity.

The feudal rights of the barons in the products and earnings of the
tradesmen and workmen, as well as in the person and labor of the serfs,
together with their right of civil and criminal jurisdiction, were all
the result of successive usurpations.

Toward the end of the eleventh, and especially in the twelfth century,
the cities and towns rose against their feudal oppressors. This great
movement was not preconcerted, nor was it instigated by outside
conspirators. The cities, goaded by exactions and oppressions, rose
separately, and each one on its own account. The impulse came from
man's natural aspirations for freedom and justice, and his hatred
of tyranny. The true conspirators were the nobles who oppressed the
cities. Louis VI., of immortal memory, aided the cities in their
efforts to form themselves into communes, gave them charters, and
relieved them from the power of the barons; in short, he did every
thing possible to undermine the power of the nobles, and prevent
them from pillaging, torturing, and murdering the people. But the
emancipation of the cities was finally achieved only by blood; and the
kings, moved by humanity as well as policy, supported the citizens in
their efforts, and thus reduced the tyrannic and unruly barons and
nobles. The nobles, small and great, in France as in other parts of
Europe, resisted with arms the communal emancipation. They proclaimed
and treated as rebels and subverters of order and society, all who
tried to reconquer their liberty, as well as all those who advocated
the cause of the oppressed. Does not the same phenomenon reappear in
our own time and country?

With the emancipation of the cities and the formation of communes,
civilization began to illumine the horizon of France. But this great
social event had not such a direct influence on the condition of the
rural populations in France as it had in Italy. Still the serfs found a
safe refuge in the now independent cities.

The crusades acted in the same way on the condition of the peasantry in
France, as they did in Germany, Flanders, etc.

Successively, kings began to regulate and alleviate the condition of
the serfs on their domains, gradually interposing to limit the power
of the nobles over their serfs. A chronicler of that time (twelfth
century), says: "_Cetera censuum exactiones quæ servis infligi solent_
(nobles) _omnimodis vacent_." The French legists of the thirteenth
century, inspired by Ulpian and Roman law, the study of which was
again revived by a decree of Louis IX., declared that every man on
the soil of France is or ought to be free, by right as well as by
the law of nature. Subsequently this axiom was considered applicable
even to Saracens, Mahomedans, Africans, and all races, creeds, and
nationalities. Louis IX. was the friend of the oppressed and the
redresser of the wrongs of the peasantry. He abolished the more
oppressive servitudes in the domains, and tried to humanize the nobles.

The great principle of liberty asserted by the legists of the
thirteenth century, was in the fourteenth embodied in a law or edict
of Louis X., which decreed that the serfs might pay off their personal
and rural obligation to the nobles and become free tenants. This law
was very generally carried out in the royal domains, but did not find
much favor among the nobles or in the feudalized church. At that time,
moreover, many serfs and peasants, from poverty, mental degradation,
and shiftlessness, and others from distrust of the law and the nobles,
refused the freedom offered to them. In several provinces, disorders
even resulted from their resistance, especially in those places where
the conditions dictated by the seneschals (royal overseers), nobles,
and priests, were so oppressive as to make free tenantry no better
than bondage; and for this reason, also, serfs who had obtained
their liberty often returned to servitude. In defence of American
chattelhood, it is asserted that many chattels spurn the idea of
emancipation; that many of them, when emancipated, return, of their
own choice, into slavery, and that they are too degraded to appreciate
freedom, and too shiftless to achieve its rewards. These very reasons,
based on facts similar to those now set forth, were urged by the French
feudal masters against the efforts of the government to liberate the
oppressed whites.

The consequences of a bodily as of a social disorder are frequently
of protracted duration. The oppression of centuries so destroys the
mind and manhood of the oppressed that they consider slavery their
normal condition, even as physical monstrosities have sometimes been
regarded by their possessors as the symbols of beauty and health. Such
incurables may even be found among the now free descendants of social,
political, national, and legal bondmen--among the descendants of those
who in former times were covered with contempt, and who suffered
unutterable social degradation. Such are the Irish, _en masse_, and
some others who escape oppression in Europe only to support slavery in

Personal serfdom and vassalage began to be gradually modified; but
on the estates of the clergy and nobility it lasted till near the
eighteenth century, still preserving several of its worst features.
Nowhere in Europe was the peasant so long and so grievously oppressed
as in France; nowhere did he take such terrible but just revenge.
Insurrections of the peasantry in various parts of France form an
almost uninterrupted historic series, of which the great revolution was
the fitting climax.

The repeated _bagaudies_ of the Gallic peasantry have been already
mentioned: the next revolt was in the tenth century, when the serfs
and peasants of Neustræ (Normandy) rose against the Northmen, who
had just established themselves, and who tried to transform them
into chattels; and another rising took place about the same time in
Brittany. Beside many partial uprisings against particular strongholds
or districts, the most general and most celebrated were those of the
_pastouraux_, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries--one of
which was directed principally against the feudalized clergy--and the
repeated _jacqueries_. Indeed, during the fourteenth century, the
whole of Europe might be said to be divided into two great hostile
camps: the nobles with their exactions and oppressions forming one,
and the laborers, peasants and serfs, resisting their oppressors
with battle-axe and fire, forming the other. And thus the oppressed
everywhere hewed out their path to freedom and civilization.

The fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had their
various revolts, sometimes evoked by governmental measures and
maladministration, but far oftener stirred up by the reckless and cruel
treatment of the laborer by the nobles--against whom both the law and
royal authority were too often inefficient and powerless.

Then came the epoch of atonement and of justice--1789-1793. Then
germinated the seeds which had been sown for centuries in the social
soil by the oppressors, and then, too, was gathered the bloody harvest.

The present rural population or peasantry of France, the descendants
of serfs and chattels, now possess the same civil and political rights
as any other class in the nation--rights more ample than are enjoyed
by any other peasantry in Europe. They have, of course, still to
suffer various evils arising from the common imperfection of all social
structures; but no special degradation is attached to their birth or
their condition.

The first glimpses of mental culture, in the earliest mediæval night,
came from the monasteries--from monks who generally belonged to the
conquered race, or sprang from chattels and serfs. Indeed, almost all
the modern European civilization was elaborated in the cities by the
so-called middle classes, and by peasants. Luther and Kepler were
the sons of poor peasants; and the sires of the immense majority of
the European middle classes, at one time or another, were chattels,
serfs, or bondmen, who were for ages considered and treated as brutes
by the nobles and barons. All over Europe many of the genealogies of
aristocratic families ascend to slaves, serfs and villeins.




_Domesday-book, Sharon Turner, Lappenberg, Pauli, Hallam, Brougham,
Vaughan, etc._

The social condition of the Britons previous to the invasion of Cæsar
was in all probability similar to that of their kindred Gauls. They
lived in clans; the soil was held by a tenure similar to that which
prevailed among the Gauls, and was tilled by clansmen or free laborers.
Slavery was then, if possible, even more insignificant among the
Britons than among the Gauls; and the slaves consisted of criminals
and prisoners of war, and were the common property of the clan. The
laboring classes were not impoverished, nor were they dependent upon
the chiefs as in Gaul at the time of the Roman conquest. For various
reasons Rome's influence did not operate so fatally on the Britons as
it did on the Gauls; neither the culture of Rome nor her disorganizing
and oppressive administration permeated Britain to the same extent
as they did the rest of the empire. Still Roman rule seems to have
altered somewhat the primitive relations between the chiefs and their
clansmen, impoverishing the latter and corrupting the former. The Roman
rule was propitious to slavery; it surrounded the powerful natives
with dependents and chattels, while the poor gradually lost their
freedom, and began to cultivate the soil less for their own sake than
on account of their chiefs. The dissolution of former social relations
was effected and the impoverishment of the people fearfully increased,
by the uninterrupted invasions of the Picts and Scots, and by the
Anglo-Saxon conquest.

The Anglo-Saxons, spreading over the land, enslaved its former owners,
selling them abroad or making them work for the conquerors at home. The
Anglo-Saxons planted on the soil of Britain their German mode of life
and their social organism in all its details. They brought with them
their bondmen and slaves, their laws and usages relating to slavery,
to the possession of the soil, and to composition for crime (all of
which have been explained in former pages). Under the Anglo-Saxons and
Danes, the chattels consisted of the descendants of the slaves existing
in Roman times, as well as natives newly enslaved, criminals, debtors
and captives taken in war. The Anglo-Saxon families also had slaves
of Scotch and Welsh birth, generally from the borders; while, on the
other hand, many Anglo-Saxons were kept in bondage by the Scotch and
Welsh. Turner says: "It is well known that a large proportion of the
Anglo-Saxon population was in a state of slavery; they were conveyed
promiscuously with the cattle."

The Anglo-Saxon slaves were called _theow esne_ and _wite-theows_,
or penal slaves. Their condition was attended with all the horrors
of slavery. They were kept in chains, were whipped, branded, and
wore collars. They were sold in the markets, especially in London,
and were at times exported beyond the sea, and found their way even
to the markets of Italy and Rome. Every one knows that it was the
exposition for sale of Anglo-Saxon slaves in the Roman market which
resulted in the introduction of Christianity into Britain. Christianity
softened the savage customs of the Anglo-Saxons, and greatly promoted
emancipation; and this again increased the number of freemen and
half-freemen, which formed the lower class of the population.

The division into classes--castes almost--was very rigidly observed
by the Anglo-Saxons. The powers and rights of nobles, and of those
who reached a high position as royal officials or owners of extensive
landed property, were very great. The possession of land gave a higher
political _status_, and conferred greater power among the Anglo-Saxons
than among any of the other German tribes settled throughout Europe.

The free yeomen, or owners of land in fee simple, sought protection
from the _hlaford_ or mighty lord. For this they bartered away,
partially, both their freedom and their right to the land--as was
customary also among the German and all other ancient nations. The
Anglo-Saxon yeomen were, in general, in a subordinate condition; they
had no law, and their freedom consisted principally in having the right
to change masters. The tradesmen also were, for the most part, in a
servile state, and were manumitted like other chattels. Some of the
manumitted slaves became agricultural laborers and hired land from the
clergy, the great, the thanes or the _ealdormen_, paying them an annual
rent in produce or money; but many of them also went into the towns and
became burghers. Some of the burghers, also, were subject to barons
and other lords, as the king; indeed, the burghers generally were
not actual freeholders, and, if they were free, often had not wholly
escaped the domestic service of their masters. The condition of the
immense majority of Anglo-Saxons was therefore far from real freedom.

The Norman conquest transformed many landlords into tenants, while
the humbler classes passed into the hands of the new masters. They
became the tenants and laborers of the Norman, for whom otherwise the
conquered land would have been worthless. But the Norman conquest
rendered Saxon servitude so galling, that villeinage was nearly equal
to chattelhood.

The "Domesday-book" gives 25,000 as the number of slaves in England.
The great bulk of the rural population was composed of bondmen,
or villeins under various designations--as _bordiers_, _geburs_,
_cotsetlas_, etc.--who were compelled to pay oppressive imposts,
and submit to various degrading and oppressing servitudes. These
oppressions and exactions bore most heavily on the Anglo-Saxon

Slaves and serfs attached to the soil might be sold in the
market-place, at the pleasure of their owners. Husbands sold their
wives, and parents, unable or unwilling to support their children,
might dispose of them in the same manner. The English slave-dealer of
the eleventh and twelfth centuries, sold his Anglo-Saxon commodities
to the Irish. A law enacted in 1102, prohibited this "wicked trade;"
but the law was eluded, the trade continued, and when Henry II. invaded
Ireland, he found English slaves there, whom he manumitted. In order to
increase the revenue, as also from other motives of policy, the royal
power in England, as all over Europe, generally favored the oppressed;
its tendency always was to curb the arbitrary exactions of the barons,
to promote emancipation, and generally to aid the serfs. William the
Conqueror ordered that the lords should not deprive the husbandmen of
their land; he enacted regulations to prevent arbitrary enslavement,
and prohibited the sale of slaves out of the country. He also enacted a
law which provided that the residence of any serf or slave for a year
and a day, without being claimed, in any city, burgh, walled town or
castle, should entitle him to perpetual liberty.

An independent freeholding yeomanry existed in comparatively small
numbers. The recklessness of the feudal barons obliged the yeomanry,
for the sake of protection, to render allegiance to the manor, and
thus, about a century after the conquest, almost all the small
homesteads disappeared. The conquered population held their property,
not by absolute right, but by a tenure from the lord. Thus all
individual freedom, except that of the nobles, became either entirely
lost, or more and more contracted, till finally time and circumstance
partly loosened, partly destroyed, the bonds which held the nation in
slavery. In England as in the whole of Europe, feudal oppression was
the growth of a very few generations; but it has required many hundreds
of years to destroy it. A disease may be caught in an hour--years may
be required for its cure. For the conquered race, the Norman had all
the contempt common to conquerors. Macaulay says that when Henry I.
married an Anglo-Saxon of princely lineage, many of the barons regarded
it as a Virginia planter might regard marriage with a quadroon girl.
But personal and economical interests obliged the barons to relent in
their treatment of their serfs and chattels; and many of them were
allowed under certain conditions to cultivate small portions of land.

The Saxon servile class, embraced under the general name of villeins,
by and by began to have a permanent and legal interest in the land they
cultivated, tilling it under the condition of a copyhold. The number of
tenants on the manorial lands thus rapidly increased. But for a long
period, even though the law declared that no man was a villein, still
less a chattel, unless a master claimed him (and while to all others he
was a freeman, eligible to have and hold property), still the nobles
often seized and appropriated to themselves the property of the poorer

The laws under the Plantagenets, although in some respects hard for
the villeins, indirectly favored their emancipation, and threw many
obstacles in the way of suits brought to reclaim fugitives.

The influence of the cities on the condition of the serfs in England
was similar to that which they exercised everywhere else in Europe. As
under the Anglo-Saxons, so under the Normans, the inhabitants of the
cities were originally serfs and villeins, or their descendants. The
Plantagenets were unceasingly at war, and the enlistment of soldiers
opened up an avenue to emancipation; and predial and feudal servitude
of every kind ended forever with the performance of military service on
land or sea. So also the serf or villein obtained freedom in various
ways--through the law of refuge in cities, by being drafted into the
royal service, and finally by the tenure of the land on which the baron
may have established him at his own baronial pleasure. Thus by degrees
arose the right of copyhold lands; and Edward III. prohibited the lords
from appropriating such lands when service was rendered or the rent
regularly paid.

Forced servitude steadily diminished, and the estate-holders complained
that the cities and towns absorbed the labor necessary for agriculture.
In 1345, Parliament regulated the wages for all kinds of farm-work,
and made labor obligatory when paid for in money, but not as personal
servitude. Gradually the economic and social relations became more and
more those of employer and laborer, and less and less those of master
and serf. Still the nobles and estate-holders continually evaded the
laws, and preserved, as much as they possibly could, their oppressive
rights. Against these the peasants protested by various petty

Wat Tyler and his peasant-followers demanded that the existing remnants
of villeinage should be abolished, and that the land-rent be payable
in money and not in personal services, and also that the trades and
market-places be free from vexatious tolls and imposts. But Wat Tyler
fell--the insurrection was suppressed--the barons and lords compelled
the king to break the promises he had made, and the "shoeless ribalds,"
as the nobles called the insurgent rustics, were forced back to their
former condition. But in a little over a century afterward, villeinage
wholly disappeared. Contumely, oppression, and even butchery proved
in the long run quite powerless against the efforts of the oppressed
classes to reconquer their freedom.

The wars of the roses dissolved many of the old liens, destroyed
various domestic relations, and yet, with all their devastations,
on the whole rather promoted the emancipation of land and labor.
Richard III. made various regulations favorable to the peasantry and
destructive of the still remaining vestiges of servitude. On this
account, as well as for other reasons, some historians defend the
memory of Richard III.; and it really seems that at first Richard was
a good and upright man. But violent passions, lust of power, hatred
of whoever opposed him or stood in his way, drove him step by step to
measures of violence and to murder; and so he stands in history, a
hideous and accursed monster in human form, reeking in the blood of
his victims. Nations and parties often run the same career of violence
and crime as individuals. Let the pro-slavery faction of to-day, which
already begins to move in the bloody tracks of Richard, take warning!

Under the Tudors but few traces of the former villeinage are to be
found; still it survived until the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth. But
throughout the whole of the centuries during which rural servitude was
slowly but steadily passing away, relics of a very stringent personal
servitude, almost equal to slavery, lingered in the baronial manors
and castles, in the personal relation between the masters and their
retainers and menials. Against these remains of rural villeinage,
vassalage, and slavery, the Henries and Elizabeths exercised their
royal power, and issued decrees bearing on the subject generally, as
well as others relating to special cases.[19]

It is not necessary to record here--what every student in history
knows--that in proportion as servitude began to decay, the prosperity
of England increased, and that from its final abolition in every
form dates the uninterrupted growth in wealth and power of the
English nation. The abolition of rural servitude gave a vigorous
impulse to agriculture, and secured to it its present high social
significance; and now the old nobility all over Europe are proud to be
agriculturists. Agriculture is now a science, and it is by freedom that
it has thus reached the highest honor in the hierarchy of knowledge and

Through such various stages passed the Anglo-Saxons and the English
people, in their transition from chattelhood and various forms of
personal servitude, to freedom. The present inhabitants of English
towns, as well as the free yeomanry and tenants--in brief, all the
English commercial, trading, farming and working classes--have emerged
from slavery, serfdom or servility. In the course of centuries the
oppressed have achieved the liberty of their persons and labor, and the
freedom of the soil: they have conquered political status and political
rights; and their descendants peopled the American colonies, and here
finally conquered the paramount right of national independence. The
genuine freemen of the great Western Republic are not ashamed but proud
of such a lineage of toil and victory. These freemen now and here again
boldly and nobly enter the lists to combat with human bondage in every
shape; and thus they remain true to the holy traditions which they have
inherited from their fathers.


[Footnote 19: Certain pro-slavery organs and small yelpers (see
"Southern Wealth," etc., New York, 1860) defame the memory of the
Henries and Elizabeths for their generous action toward the serfs,
forgetting that such royal decrees, in many cases, _liberated their own
direct ancestors_.]




_Schaffarick, Corpus Scriptorum Historiæ Byzantinæ, Nestor, Fischer,
Karamzin, Gerebtzoff, etc._

At what epoch the Slavic race left the common home of the Aryans and
immigrated into Europe, will forever remain an insoluble mystery. Some
ethnologists suppose the Slavi to have preceded the Gauls, and think
they find their traces all over central Europe, on the Po, and around
the Adriatic Gulf. At all events, the Slavi are very ancient occupants
of European soil, and without doubt took possession of it long before
the Germans. The region between the Danube, the Vistula and the Volga,
was from time immemorial, as it still is, distinctly a Slavic region,
although at some previous time, it was probably occupied by the Yellow
or Finnic races. Subsequently the Slavi covered the lands between the
Vistula and the Elba (now again lost), and colonized the southern
shores of the Danube.

From immemorial time, the Slavi were an agricultural people; and
perhaps they were the first who cultivated the virgin soil of Central
and Northern Europe. The Slavi lived in villages, and were organized
in rural communes, electing their chiefs, (_joupan_) or ancients
(_starschina_). As early as the time of Herodotus, the commerce in
grain was very active at the mouth of the Dnieper, and then, as
at the present day, the Slavi imported their wheat to Byzantium
(Constantinople), Greece, and Asia Minor.

The region occupied by the Slavi, from the Volga, along the Don (or
Tanais) and the Danube, was the highway of the various branches of
the Mongolian, Finnic, Uralian, Scythic, or Turanian family, in their
invasions. All these old and classic denominations for the inhabitants
of Asia, north of Baktria and the Himalayan mountains, are now merged
in that of Tartars. So, in remote antiquity, Tartar Scythians, mixed
with Slavi, dwelt on the Tanais, north of the Danube, and very likely
on the plains east of the Dnieper. Other invasions of Asiatic Tartars,
as Huns, Avars, Bulgars, Maghyars, Petschenegues, Polovtzy, Ugri,
Turks and Tartars proper--doubtless early familiarized the primitive
agricultural Slavi with the horrors of war, oppression and enslavement.
And among the slaves which, under the name of Scythians, the Phenicians
and Greeks trafficked in, there were doubtless some of Slavic origin.

It was very late when the Slavic race began to take part in the
European or Western movement. Neither in the remotest times, nor in
the great Western impulse during the early part of the Christian era,
do the Slavi appear as invaders or conquerors on their own account.
For many centuries, the Slavi in their relations with other races
and nations, must rather be considered a passive or recipient than an
expanding or creative race. For these reasons slavery does not seem
to have been indigenous in those parts of the Slavic family which
constituted independent groups, at the time when the race first dawns
upon the horizon of history.

The Emperor Mauritius, in the sixth century, in giving an account of
the defensive warfare of the Slavi, says that when they made prisoners
in war, they kept them as such for a year, and afterward left it to
their own choice either to settle among them or return to their native
country. Thus, at an epoch when perpetual war raged all over the world,
when from time immemorial prisoners of war everywhere formed the bulk
of the slaves for domestic labor and for traffic, the Slavi alone were
humane toward their captives.

The Slavi, however, became diseased by slavery, partly from external
infection--partly from the internal development of events similar
in character to those pointed out in other nations as the origin of
slavery; and having once taken hold of the nation, it worked in a
similar way as in other lands. For here again we see the ever recurring
analogy between the origin, nature, and workings of social and bodily
diseases--the same everywhere, under the equator as around the pole.

In the tenth and eleventh centuries, the Germans, under the Saxon
emperors, carried on a war of conquest, almost of extermination,
against the Slavi, from the Baltic along the Elbe to the Styrian and
Carinthian Alps. The number of war-prisoners and peaceful settlers
carried away and enslaved was immense. Many of them were sold in the
Baltic ports, others in Venice, others again were distributed in the
interior of Germany, and in such vast numbers that from them arose the
general designation of "_slaves_" to all chattels of whatever race;
and such was the origin of the word, which was afterward incorporated
into all the languages of Europe.[20] Subsequently the harshest feudal
tenures regulated the condition of the rural population of Bohemia,
Moravia and Hungary, which did not terminate till the events of
1848-'49 put a final end to villeinage (_robot_) in all these countries.

The Poles and Russians were unaffected by feudalism in any of its
social or constructive developments. Up to the seventh and eighth
centuries, the Poles continued to elect their chiefs from all classes
of the people--merchants and workmen. The prince or chief Leschko was
a merchant; while Piast was a wheelwright, and became the founder
of a long line of kings. But wars created the men of the sword,
or nobility; and then in Poland, as everywhere else, the nobles
began to encroach upon the rights and property of the weak, and to
oppress the agriculturists, the free yeomen (_kmets_, _kmetones_),
and the husbandmen (_gospodarsch_); but neither of these were ever
transformed into chattels. When the Poles became a distinct historical
nation, chattelhood was disappearing from Europe. Their contests
were principally with other Slavic nations and with the Germans;
and no traces are to be found of the enslavement of prisoners of
war. Their heathen neighbors were the Prussians, the Iadzwingi, and
Lithuanians; and captives made among them were used either in public
labors or strictly in domestic service, as were also prisoners of war
in after-times made from the Tartars and Turks. When these prisoners
became Christians, their chattelhood was at an end.

The name for a war-prisoner is _niewolnik_, "one deprived of the
exercise of his will." When the Polish agriculturists were subjugated
by the nobles, and their condition became that of villeins, or
_adscripti glebæ_, they began to be called _kholop_ (a name most likely
borrowed from the Russian), also _poddany_, "subject;" and the rural
relations had the general name of _poddanstwo_, "subjection."

The Biblical narrative of the curse of Noah upon Ham furnished an easy
justification for reducing the people to bondage. Peasant (_kholop_)
and Ham became synonymous in the mouths of the nobles and the clergy,
who generally sprang from the nobility. The oppression of the nobles
was absolute during the domestic wars of the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries. The people resisted, but after various partial but bloody
struggles, the peasantry were subjected. In the royal domains the old
yeomen (_kmetones_) still preserved their lands and some of their
rights, and to the last days of Poland, the peasantry of the domains
never became, either legally or in fact, _adscripti glebæ_. Casimir the
Great, a Polish king of the middle of the fourteenth century, protected
the rights of the peasantry against the oppressions of the nobles, and
advised the peasants to defend themselves with flint and steel. He won
the name of "king of the poor oppressed peasants" (_krol khlopkow_):
perhaps it was the gratitude of the oppressed which conferred this
title upon him, or perhaps it may have been a sneering epithet applied
by the nobles. Goading indeed was the oppression of the nobles, and
crushing in the extreme the servitude of the peasantry; but it never
reached the point of chattelhood, excepting in rare cases of absolute

The _kmetones_, or free yeomen, and the husbandmen still generally
remained in possession of the lands which were once their immediate
property, but now only as possessors at the pleasure of the
master--paying him a rent or tribute, in kind or labor, and deprived of
the right of changing their domicile. The master could, at pleasure,
elevate the tenant to a freeholder, or emancipate any of his household
servants. The cities did not furnish such a sure refuge for runaways
as did the cities in other parts of Europe. Military service, here as
elsewhere, gave perpetual liberty to the bondman.

The Polish nobility had supreme sway, and were all in all; they
constituted the nation, the legislators and the sovereign--even the
kings being controlled by the nobles and their interests. The nobles
have paid dearly for their tyranny and oppression, as they themselves
now admit that serfdom was the principal cause of the downfall of

After the dismemberment of Poland, Friederich Wilhelm III. restored
personal liberty to the peasantry in the parts of the kingdom which
were allotted to Prussia; in the Austrian portion, the condition of
the peasantry was ameliorated and their personal liberty partially
restored by Joseph II.; while that part of Poland which, at the end
of the eighteenth century, was annexed, or rather reannexed, to
Russia--as Lithuania and the Russian provinces--came under the control
of the regulations prevailing in the empire. In Poland proper, all the
peasantry are now free and enjoy full civil rights; and even the soil
tilled by the peasants will soon be fully freed from every kind of
predial servitude attached to its possession: and thus the peasantry
will recover at least a part of the property taken from them by
violence or subterfuge long centuries ago.

The Slavonians in what is now called Russia proper--from Lake Peypus
and the Waldai Heights down to the banks of the Dnieper--lived, from
time immemorial, in villages; these, again, were formed into smaller
or larger districts (_obschtschestwo_, _wolost_), which elected for
themselves their chiefs or heads (_golowa_).

Among the few cities in Russia, the great republican and commercial
emporiums of Novgorod and Pskoff--well known and flourishing at
the dawn of the mediæval epoch--formed the centres of that Slavic
region. No nobility existed then, no slaves, and no bondmen. In 862
the republicans of Novgorod, distracted by domestic feuds and party
dissensions, invited a Scandinavian, Nordman, or Variægue leader,
called Rurick, to take upon himself the government of their republic.
Rurick and his followers extended the Variægue supremacy as far as
the southern region of the Dnieper, and Kieff became the capital of
the Russian empire. At the commencement of this Variægue rule, no
positive change was introduced into the internal organism of society,
or the condition of the population. Rurick and his descendants were
elected or confirmed by the Slavonic people, and he governed the cities
and districts through his companions-in-arms or lieutenants. These,
together with the direct descendants of Rurick, under the various
designations of princes (_kniaz_ and _mouja_), vassals, and warriors,
were the founders of the Russian nobility. This, however, could not be
called feudalism, as these functionaries corresponded somewhat with the
counts and _missi dominici_, or lieutenant-deputies of Charlemagne. The
grand-princes or grand-dukes of Kieff made war upon various tribes,
mostly those of Mongolian or Tartar origin, and swept south of the
Dnieper along the shores of the Black Sea down to the Caucasus; they
repeatedly invaded the Byzantine empire, sometimes reaching even the
suburbs of Constantinople. Then the war-prisoners and captives became
domestic chattels, and chattels were also purchased from neighboring
tribes and imported into Russia.

The name for a chattel, of whatever origin, is _rab_, _raba_, probably
derived from _rabota_, "labor." Such _rabs_ were employed in various
kinds of labor, but principally in clearing the forests and cultivating
the soil for their masters. Through contact with the Byzantine empire
Christianity came into Russia, besides various other usages.

At this epoch, a new form of servitude appeared among the Russians;
perhaps it was borrowed from the old society and civilization, or
perhaps it originated from a new concatenation of circumstances: it was
servitude by mutual agreement or _kabala_, by which one man gave up his
person, labor, and liberty to another. This kind of bondman was called
_kholop_. His servitude was usually contracted for a limited time,
though sometimes for life; but was never inherited. Debts could be paid
by the _kabala_ writ.

The poor freeman could become a _kholop_ by his own choice, or he
could give up his children as _kholops_, as was then the custom among
all nations, heathen and Christian. Such _kabala-kholop_, or servile
person, could not be sold or disposed of in any way, as his servitude
was limited in duration by specified time or by his death. Sometimes
freemen choose servitude in order to escape worse conditions. Early
in the domestic economy of the nation, free tenants are found who
hired lands for a year or more, paying the rent (_obrog_) in money, or
binding themselves to cultivate half of the land for the proprietor and
half for themselves. A subsequent law prohibited any such free tenants
from contracting any work or _kabala_ servitude with the landowners.
The contracts of free tenants were obligatory for a year from St.
George's day (April 17); but otherwise they could change their domicile
or land at pleasure. The laws of the tenth and eleventh centuries
stringently prohibit the infliction of any kind of corporal punishment
on such free tenants. In short, these tenants had full civil liberty
and full civil rights; they could own lands, and could become members
of any rural or urbane community, practice any handicraft, etc.

Probably it was the nobles, the rich, the higher officials, who
first established chattels (_rabs_) on their lands as tillers. From
these originated, beside the _rab_, the _krepostnoi kholop_, "a serf
strengthened or chained to his master," _krepok_ signifying "strong,"
"strengthened," "attached by force"--_krepost_, "stronghold," etc.
According to the laws collected or enacted by Vladimir and Yaroslaw
in the tenth and eleventh centuries, _rab_ and _krepostnoi kholop_
were the descendants of prisoners of war, or of those who were bought
as slaves and imported as such into Russia, and also the descendants
of those who unconditionally married a slave woman; while the public,
grand-ducal slaves or _rabs_ were condemned criminals.

Free tenants on the lands of the nobles, individual freeholders
(_odnodwortsy_), etc., and the numerous rural communities owning
land unconditionally and paying therefrom tribute--rather as public
taxation--to the ducal treasury, constituted the rural population
of Russia. From the time of Yaroslaw to the end of the sixteenth
century, not one-tenth of the population was in the condition of _rab_,
_krepostnoi kholop_, or serfs by writ or _kabala_.

The almost boundless extent of land constituting Russia was as yet
unsurveyed, and no regular limits divided or marked the landed
property. Thus it was easy for the strong to encroach on the lands of
the rural communes, or on the new clearings made by individual freemen;
and such annexations were often practised during the domestic wars
between the numerous dukes, and during the time of Tartar domination.
Iwan the Great (1462-1503) ordered, that whoever held a piece of land
in undisputed possession for three years became its legal owner.
But even the encroachments of the nobles did not transform the free
laborers or tenants into serfs; and when a landlord was oppressive,
whole villages abandoned him and contracted for land on other estates.

Chattels (_rab_, _krepostnoi kholop_) might be emancipated by the free
will of the master; and a captive carried away by the Tartars, or a
prisoner of war if a _kholop_, became free if he succeeded in escaping
from captivity and returning to his country.

In the sixteenth century, all classes of the rural population began to
be called Christians (_krestianin_), the Tartars having bestowed this
denomination on them; and this name is now legally in use. Under Tartar
dominion the rural communities paid tribute per head; and for this
reason their members could not change their domicile without giving
security to the commune. But after the overthrow of the Tartars by Iwan
the Great, they recovered the freedom of circulation.

The primitive grand-dukes of Kief granted appanages to their younger
children, and sometimes a free rural commune constituted such an
appanage. Vladimir, and after him Yaroslaw, divided the empire among
their children; and thus originated the rather independent dukedoms of
Twer, Smolensk, Wiazma, etc. The number of appanaged princes increased;
and when, after a long and bloody struggle, the grand-dukes of Moscow
_mediatized_ all these small dukes, appanages became private property,
and the rural communes were owned by the dukes (_kniazia_), but under
similar conditions of freedom as the communes constituting the public

Toward the end of the sixteenth century, Borys Goudenoff--an
ambitious, unscrupulous, but highly-gifted _parvenu_--got control
of the weak-minded Tsar Feodor, ruled during his lifetime, became
regent of the empire after his death, and finally a murderer and
usurper. To ingratiate himself with the nobility and the Bojars, in
1593 he published an edict (_oukase_), by which the free tenants
were henceforth prohibited from changing their masters or their
domicile, and were at once reduced to serfs, _adscripti glebæ_. This
first oppression quickly generated others still more odious, which
stopped not till they ended in all the turpitude of chattelhood---thus
justifying the saying of Lessing: "Let the devil but get hold of one
single hair, and he soon clutches you by the whole queue." So in 1597
a very rigorous oukase was published concerning the restitution of
fugitive serfs, their wives, children and movables. Another oukase,
ordering a census of all domestic servants to be taken, transformed
into serfs even those who, six months before, had entered private
service as absolute freemen. With the exception of the population in
the free communes constituting the tsarian domains, all the other rural
populations were thus transformed into serfs in the brief space of a
few years.

During the seventeenth century, the tsars of the house of Romanoff
confirmed these oukases. However, the serfs were not included in the
sale of an estate, neither was it permitted to transfer them from one
estate to another. There were various specific denominations for the
different forms of servitude, according to the nature of the labor,
the quantity of produce, or the number of days' service levied by the

In 1718, Peter the Great ordered a general census to be taken all over
the empire. The census officials, most probably through thoughtlessness
or caprice, divided the whole rural population into two sections: 1st.
The free peasants belonging to the crown or its domains; and 2dly.
All the rest of the peasantry, the _krestianins_ or serfs living on
private estates, were inscribed as _khrepostnoie kholopy_, that is,
as chattels. The primitive Slavic communal organization thus survived
only on the royal domain, and there it exists till the present day.
The census of Peter having thus fairly inaugurated chattelhood, it
immediately began to develop itself in all its turpitude. The masters
grew more reckless and cruel; they sold chattels separately from the
lands; they brought them singly into market, disregarding all family
ties and social bonds. Estates were no more valued according to the
area of land they contained, but according to the number of their
chattels, who were now called souls (_duschy_). In short, all the worst
features of chattelism, as it exists at the present day in the American
Slave States, immediately followed the publication of this accursed

The rural communes upon the royal domains, however, still preserved
their ancient organization and even comparative freedom; but Peter
the Great, as well as all his successors, rewarded his favorites, or
those rendering public service, with estates or grants of land; and as
such grants were taken from the royal domains, in this way hundreds of
thousands of free peasants were transformed into chattels. Catharine
II. also distributed great numbers of such estates among her favorites,
besides confirming all the privileges of the nobility; and so likewise
did Paul I. Alexander I. desired to exempt the peasants in this
transfer; but Nicholas I. in reality was the first emperor who granted
estates excepting therefrom the resident peasantry; he also published
an oukase that henceforth no rural communes from the domains shall be
granted to private individuals. Paul I., in 1797, reduced the weekly
servitude of the kholop to three days, the other three remaining to

Alexander I. desired to emancipate the serfs throughout the whole
empire, but only succeeded, and that very partially, in the so-called
German or Baltic provinces--where, moreover, the German nobles and
landowners succeed in impoverishing the peasants even more after
emancipation than they could before. Alexander I. also prohibited the
sale of single peasants, either male or female, separate from their
families; he forbade their sale in the markets; and no one could
purchase or own serfs unless he had at the same time twenty acres of
land for each family. But all these tutelary laws were more or less
evaded during his reign. He permitted the nobles freely to emancipate
their serfs; but very few of them followed the example set by Prince
Alexander Galitzine and a few others, and not more than three hundred
thousand families were thus set free. Nicholas I. also spoke favorably
of emancipation, and even attempted it, but unsuccessfully.

During all this period, military service was a great engine of
emancipation. Enlisted serfs were forever free, together with their
wives and children. But military service lasted for twenty-five or
thirty years, and was often more oppressive than serfdom in the village.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the peasantry now and
then avenged their wrongs by isolated murders of the more oppressive
masters and their families. Partial insurrections even took place, the
most celebrated of which is that of Pugatschoff under Catharine II.,
which swept over the bodies of slain nobles and officials, from the
mountains of Orembourg to the very gates of Moscow.

But the day of justice now dawns upon Russia. The whole Christian world
glorifies the efforts of Alexander II., supported by a considerable
portion of the nobles, to restore freedom and homesteads to the twenty
millions of serfs. The success of the great emancipation movement is
beyond doubt, beyond even the possibility of being stopped, although
the carrying out of such a colossal revolution requires time and meets
with many impediments.

At the example of Russia the tributary nomads of Asiatic Tartary have
emancipated their slaves and abjured further enslavement; and Turkey,
likewise, has inscribed her name upon the grand roll of emancipating

Thus the whole ancient world shakes off slavery, and attempts to wash
away its ancient and bloody stain; while the New World, or at least a
part of it, still glories in the barbarous abomination.

No special law in Poland decreed the serfdom of the rural population,
nor in Russia their transformation into chattels. Nowhere, indeed, in
the whole history of man has the conception of justice and law been
so degraded as to legislate freemen, or those partially free, out of
their sacred and inherent rights, beforehand. The most bloody records
of humanity have not preserved any such act of legislation, and even
the name of a Nero or a Heliogabalus are free from such a stain. It
was left to the modern worshippers of the blood-reeking slave-demon to
enact such laws; it was left to the highest judicial tribunal of the
United States to brand into the brow of justice, there to remain for
eternities, the infernal Dred Scott decision.


[Footnote 20: The name of _slave_ in the Slavi language, is derived
either from _slava_, "renown," or from _slowo_, "the verb." It is
supposed that the Slavi called themselves thus as having the gift
of speech, of _the verb_, in contradistinction to those speaking an
unintelligible language, whom they called _niemy_, "mute," wherefrom
_nemets_, "a German."]


These pages do not touch on slavery among the Spaniards. Under the
Roman republic and empire, Spain shared the lot of the other provinces,
as Gaul, etc.; and what has been said in relation to slavery in the
Roman world applies to her also. The results of the German invasions,
and the establishment of the Goths in Spain, were similar in their
bearings to what we have already seen as taking place in Gaul and
Italy. Scarcely had the two races begun to fuse on the soil of
Spain, and the relations between the conqueror and the conquered to
be modified and softened, when the invasions by the Moors (whose
domination lasted for nearly seven centuries), threw the Spaniards
into internal wars. Their protracted efforts to expel the invaders
fostered the preponderance of the men of the sword; and there is every
likelihood that the unavoidable sequellæ of war contributed to preserve
longer in Spain than in any of the other nationalities that arose out
of the ruins of the Roman empire, certain of the features of domestic
slavery, of bondage, and the feudal tenure. The final expulsion of the
Moors from the Iberian peninsula was almost immediately followed by
the discovery of the continent of America, and by the formation here
of a great Spanish empire, and the introduction thereinto of Africans
as domestic slaves. To master the various relations of property and
villeinage, of bondage and chattelhood in Spain and in the Spanish
Main, requires special studies, for which, indeed, we have as yet no
sufficient material. At least I had none such within my reach--none
that was, to my mind, conclusive and satisfactory. The Spanish
republics nobly satisfied the hopes of humanity by abolishing all kinds
of bondage and all distinctions of race. The Peruvian republic paid
to the owners three hundred dollars per head for each slave, of every
age and both sexes, and then liberated them. It may be emphatically
asserted, that the protracted political confusion prevailing in the
Spanish American States, has its sources not in the act of emancipatory
justice, but that it is the result of altogether different causes.
These, however, do not come within the compass of the present

The many analogies between domestic slavery as practised by various
nations and races of the past, and as it now exists in our Slave
States, have been often enough pointed out. These analogies prove
beyond doubt that slavery always corrupts the slave-holder and the
whole community--be the ethnic peculiarities of the enslaved race what
they may.

History shows slavery to have been always most luxuriant in those
nations where society was most disorganized, just as noxious animals
and plants multiply in putrefaction and rottenness. Facts reveal to us
how far the disorder has already penetrated Southern life; and it would
progress even more rapidly were it not for the purifying and healing
influences (feeble though they now be) coming from the North.

The civilized Christian world follows with ever-increasing interest the
stages of the political struggle in the American Union--sympathizing
deeply with those who, though they cannot hope to effect an immediate
cure, yet seek to arrest the growth of the fatal disorder.[21]

Slavery is as fatal to society as are the Southern and tropical swamps
to human life. And as material culture drains the marshes, clears the
forests, and renders the soil productive and the air healthy: so in
like manner, will moral and social culture yet make the institutions of
this republic rich and refulgent--unblighted by the presence of a slave!

The source of many, if not of all, the political and administrative
disorders in these States, is to be found in the struggles occasioned
by the arrogant and everlasting encroachments on liberty and on
the Union, by the militant worshippers of slavery. To cure these
disorders, the _growth_ of the disease--its expansion over yet
uninfected territories--_must be stopped_: such must be the first step
in a sanitary direction; and the paramount duty of self-preservation
now commands its adoption. This whole question of Slavery, too, must be
forced back to where it was left by the immortal expounders of Southern
instinct and intuition on slavery, those noble patriots--Henry,
Laurens, Washington, Jefferson, Mason, Randolph, and a host of other
great names--now forsworn by their political descendants. To conceal
the vulture that is devouring their vitals, the fanatical upholders of
slavery pervert and degrade all that humanity, morality, civilization
and history have recognized as sacred.

The slave-orators and so-called statesmen avouch "that no one in the
South believes in popular sovereignty." This unbelief is natural
enough; for popular sovereignty can only exist in intelligent, orderly
and laborious communities. It exists in the Free States, and here
freemen practically believe in and uphold it. But an ignorant and
degraded population of oligarchs, oppressors and slave-breeders never
were capable of exercising popular sovereignty, and consequently
nowhere could they ever have faith in it: barbarians generally mistrust
civilization. Universal suffrage is _not_ a failure in the villages and
townships of the Free States, though it does fail on slave plantations,
or among a so-called free population drilled and led by oligarchs.

Human institutions experience ups and downs--they have their luminous
and their gloomy epochs. Ignorant and debased masses throw a shadow
over universal suffrage and self-government; and only genuine freedom
goes hand in hand with reason, knowledge and morality. These, too,
mutually reproduce each other. It is, therefore, easy to be understood
how freedom disappears from the Slave South, and is no more cherished
or believed in.

Many consider the American institution of self-government as a new
experiment; and European serviles and American slave oligarchs utter
fearful forebodings that the experiment is already a failure. But the
prophecy only expresses their desires. For this so-called experiment is
but the natural, progressive development of man, and for this reason
proves itself every day more and more successful in the Free States.
The kingdoms and nations of the old world are now diligently studying
this experiment of freedom, and trying to appropriate its beneficent
results. Agents of European governments uninterruptedly investigate the
system of free communal schools, the manufactures, the inventions, the
multifarious industrial and agricultural progress of the Free States.
But no government sends its messengers to study out the condition of
slave plantations, slave huts, or slave pens; for they know well that
by the action of self-government and universal suffrage, qualitative
and quantitative knowledge is more generally spread, and has reached
a far higher grade in the American Free States than among all the
militant oligarchs and knight-errants of slavery the world over.

An experiment generally proves successful if made with properly adapted
and unadulterated materials. A structure raised on a treacherous
foundation and built with rotten materials must fall. It is an
experiment altogether new to the human race to construct a society
and government with chattelhood as an integral element. It is an
experiment to attempt to bring down horrified humanity on its knees
to the worship of chattelhood and the devilish slave traffic. Such an
experiment is now being tried by the apostles of slavery; and that too,
though morality, civilization and history have unanimously and forever
pronounced the sentence of condemnation against holding property in
man. The civilized and Christian world of both hemispheres and every
race unanimously awarded to John Brown the crown of a martyr, who fell
in the cause of human liberty.

One deviation from a sound social principle is speedily followed by
another; violence ever begets violence; and this is the fatal genesis
of all oppressions and tyrannies. The oligarchic despotism in the
Slave States runs rapidly through all the stages with which individual
despotism has filled the dark records of history. It has already
succeeded in the suppression of free speech and even free thought,
violation of seal, censorship of the press, and the centring of
political control in the hands of officials and lacqueys. If individual
tyrants dispatch their victims by special executioners, lynch law
and mob law--although often executed by misguided "poor whites"--are
as lawless as the murders of the tyrant, and bear a striking analogy
to the executions perpetrated by agents or court-martials. Despotism
drills the masses in all kinds of degradation: thus a part of the
population of the Slave States is drilled in ignorance by the
slaveholders, and blindly perpetrate their murderous biddings. To these
deluded men who execute the bloody behests of the tyrant, the words of
the Christ on Calvary apply: "Forgive them; _for they know not what
they do_."

A society based on a violation of cardinal human rights can never
be considered free. Freemen are never governed by violent passions.
Injustice and tyranny cannot recede; they divorce themselves from
mercy, and are guilty of the most remorseless actions: thus fatally,
of late, the gallows was once more ennobled. Executions and burning at
the stake, amid the applaudings of the ignorant and the infuriated, are
nothing new in history; and neither is the transmission of the names of
the murderers to the maledictions of eternity.

Human society will perhaps always be subject, in one shape or another,
to wrongs and disorders: but humanity specially revolts at the hideous
wrongs which now exist, such as the claim of property in man, and the
traffic in man. As long as this claim is found on the legal record,
as long as slavery exists as a common fact, futile will be all
efforts to stifle the voice of freedom, to crush into oblivion the
question of slavery, or to expel it from the chambers of legislation
or the tribunals of the people. It will and must ever reappear on
the surface:--as in bodily disorders, when the virus has eaten its
way into the innermost organism, external eruptions may be locally,
healed or closed up, but again they reappear on another spot, or
attack another organ, until a radical cure relieves the body from the
poison. Until utterly destroyed, slavery will always be paramount to
all other political questions, to all political complications, and it
will forever force its way into them all. To a greater or less degree,
diseases assume the characteristics of a prevailing epidemic. When
several diseases are complicated together, the physician first attempts
to cure the most virulent and dangerous. This question of slavery
must have a solution; and it is in vain that the weak-minded deny the
existence of the devouring disorder, or attempt to conjure it with
paltry expedients.

Humanity would gratefully applaud even an intermediate step from
absolute chattelhood toward emancipation, or any public measure
foreshadowing an intention on the part of the slaveholding States to
become humane. First of all, let them recognize in the bondman the
sacred, imprescriptible, natural rights of man and of family; then let
them abandon the slave traffic, and thus avoid separation of man and
wife, of parent and child. Even the transformation of the slaves into
serfs, into _adscripti glebæ_, would be an alleviation, and a cheering
sign of progress. Certainly, there are economic impediments which stand
in the way of immediate and absolute emancipation. The emancipated
might be interested in labor, in the soil, and in freedom, by the
possession of homesteads, even if they remained under the control of
their masters. The noble examples set by Prussia and Russia in Europe,
and by England in her West Indian possessions, might be modified and
adapted to circumstances and to special conditions. But the present
extollers of human bondage never will listen to the imploring voice of
humanity, or to the admonishing warnings of history; they deliberately
prepare volcanic eruptions for coming generations.

Pro-slavery orators sometimes grow florid, sentimental, and idyllic
in their praises and glorification of slavery. But gaseous speeches
emanate not from vigorous or healthy minds. Gas generally arises from
substances in process of decomposition. Posterity venerates only the
names of the orators who stand up for a sacred cause or a grand idea,
who act under generous impulses, who defend human rights and liberties,
and who brand with infamy every kind of oppression.

Every day freedom gets a firmer and more enduring foothold in Europe.
Every nation of the old continent enjoys greater liberty to-day than
it did on the birthday of the American Republic. The disorders which
are the accumulation of almost countless centuries, slowly, but
nevertheless uninterruptedly, melt away before the breath of the
ever-vigorous spirit of humanity. After a protracted experience of
sufferings, old Europe, centuries ago, got rid of domestic slavery.

But what civilization and humanity assert to be their greatest
afflictions are upheld as blessings in this New World by the Young
Republic. Sadness and even despair fill the mind when witnessing the
loftiest and best social structure ever erected by man sapped to its
foundations by the sacrilegious champions of human bondage!


[Footnote 21: What in common politics is called a "party," "an
expedient," never had even the slightest influence upon my convictions
or action--events having furnished me more than one occasion to
sacrifice to principle some leaves of my existence. I now use my
right of American citizenship in voting the "Republican" ticket, the
tendencies and actions of that organization satisfying my convictions.
But excepting some few personal friends, the leaders of the party,
whether in this city, the State, or the Union, are scarcely known to me
even by name.]


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