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    Chapter 27
    Previous Chapter
    _Containing Extracts from
    Speeches, etc._

    RECEPTION SPEECH[10]
    _At Finsbury Chapel, Moorfields, England, May 12, 1846_

    Mr. Douglass rose amid loud cheers, and said: I feel exceedingly
    glad of the opportunity now afforded me of presenting the claims
    of my brethren in bonds in the United States, to so many in
    London and from various parts of Britain, who have assembled here
    on the present occasion. I have nothing to commend me to your
    consideration in the way of learning, nothing in the way of
    education, to entitle me to your attention; and you are aware
    that slavery is a very bad school for rearing teachers of
    morality and religion. Twenty-one years of my life have been
    spent in slavery--personal slavery--surrounded by degrading
    influences, such as can exist nowhere beyond the pale of slavery;
    and it will not be strange, if under such circumstances, I should
    betray, in what I have to say to you, a deficiency of that
    refinement which is seldom or ever found, except among persons
    that have experienced superior advantages to those which I have
    enjoyed. But I will take it for granted that you know something
    about the degrading influences of slavery, and that you will not
    expect great things from me this evening, but simply such facts
    as I may be able to advance immediately in connection with my own
    experience of slavery.

    Now, what is this system of slavery? This is the subject of my
    lecture this evening--what is the character of this institution?
    I am about to answer the inquiry, what is American slavery? I do
    this the more readily, since I have found persons in this country
    who have identified the term slavery with that which I think it
    is not, and in some instances, I have feared, in so doing, have
    rather (unwittingly, I know) detracted much from the horror with
    which the term slavery is contemplated. It is com-

    [10] Mr. Douglass' published speeches alone, would fill two
    volumes of the size of this. Our space will only permit the
    insertion of the extracts which follow; and which, for
    originality of thought, beauty and force of expression, and for
    impassioned, indignatory eloquence, have seldom been equaled.

    mon in this country to distinguish every bad thing by the
    name of slavery. Intemperance is slavery; to be deprived of the
    right to vote is slavery, says one; to have to work hard is
    slavery, says another; and I do not know but that if we should
    let them go on, they would say that to eat when we are hungry, to
    walk when we desire to have exercise, or to minister to our
    necessities, or have necessities at all, is slavery. I do not
    wish for a moment to detract from the horror with which the evil
    of intemperance is contemplated--not at all; nor do I wish to
    throw the slightest obstruction in the way of any political
    freedom that any class of persons in this country may desire to
    obtain. But I am here to say that I think the term slavery is
    sometimes abused by identifying it with that which it is not.
    Slavery in the United States is the granting of that power by
    which one man exercises and enforces a right of property in the
    body and soul of another. The condition of a slave is simply
    that of the brute beast. He is a piece of property--a marketable
    commodity, in the language of the law, to be bought or sold at
    the will and caprice of the master who claims him to be his
    property; he is spoken of, thought of, and treated as property.
    His own good, his conscience, his intellect, his affections, are
    all set aside by the master. The will and the wishes of the
    master are the law of the slave. He is as much a piece of
    property as a horse. If he is fed, he is fed because he is
    property. If he is clothed, it is with a view to the increase of
    his value as property. Whatever of comfort is necessary to him
    for his body or soul that is inconsistent with his being
    property, is carefully wrested from him, not only by public
    opinion, but by the law of the country. He is carefully deprived
    of everything that tends in the slightest degree to detract from
    his value as property. He is deprived of education. God has
    given him an intellect; the slaveholder declares it shall not be
    cultivated. If his moral perception leads him in a course
    contrary to his value as property, the slaveholder declares he
    shall not exercise it. The marriage institution cannot exist
    among slaves, and one-sixth of the population of democratic
    America is denied its privileges by the law of the land. What is
    to be thought of a nation boasting of its liberty, boasting of
    its humanity, boasting of its Christianity, boasting of its love
    of justice and purity, and yet having within its own borders
    three millions of persons denied by law the right of marriage?--
    what must be the condition of that people? I need not lift up
    the veil by giving you any experience of my own. Every one that
    can put two ideas together, must see the most fearful results
    from such a state of things as I have just mentioned. If any of
    these three millions find for themselves companions, and prove
    themselves honest, upright, virtuous persons to each other, yet
    in these cases--few as I am bound to confess they are--the
    virtuous live in constant apprehension of being torn asunder by
    the merciless men-stealers that claim them as their property.
    This is American slavery; no marriage--no education--the light of
    the gospel shut out from the dark mind of the bondman--and he
    forbidden by law to learn to read. If a mother shall teach her
    children to read, the law in Louisiana proclaims that she may be
    hanged by the neck. If the father attempt to give his son a
    knowledge of letters, he may be punished by the whip in one
    instance, and in another be killed, at the discretion of the
    court. Three millions of people shut out from the light of
    knowledge! It is easy for you to conceive the evil that must
    result from such a state of things.

    I now come to the physical evils of slavery. I do not wish to
    dwell at length upon these, but it seems right to speak of them,
    not so much to influence your minds on this question, as to let
    the slaveholders of America know that the curtain which conceals
    their crimes is being lifted abroad; that we are opening the dark
    cell, and leading the people into the horrible recesses of what
    they are pleased to call their domestic institution. We want
    them to know that a knowledge of their whippings, their
    scourgings, their brandings, their chainings, is not confined to
    their plantations, but that some Negro of theirs has broken loose
    from his chains--has burst through the dark incrustation of
    slavery, and is now exposing their deeds of deep damnation to the
    gaze of the christian people of England.

    The slaveholders resort to all kinds of cruelty. If I were
    disposed, I have matter enough to interest you on this question
    for five or six evenings, but I will not dwell at length upon
    these cruelties. Suffice it to say, that all of the peculiar
    modes of torture that were resorted to in the West India islands,
    are resorted to, I believe, even more frequently, in the United
    States of America. Starvation, the bloody whip, the chain, the
    gag, the thumb-screw, cat-hauling, the cat-o'-nine-tails, the
    dungeon, the blood-hound, are all in requisition to keep the
    slave in his condition as a slave in the United States. If any
    one has a doubt upon this point, I would ask him to read the
    chapter on slavery in Dickens's _Notes on America_. If any man
    has a doubt upon it, I have here the "testimony of a thousand
    witnesses," which I can give at any length, all going to prove
    the truth of my statement. The blood-hound is regularly trained
    in the United States, and advertisements are to be found in the
    southern papers of the Union, from persons advertising themselves
    as blood-hound trainers, and offering to hunt down slaves at
    fifteen dollars a piece, recommending their hounds as the
    fleetest in the neighborhood, never known to fail.
    Advertisements are from time to time inserted, stating that
    slaves have escaped with iron collars about their necks, with
    bands of iron about their feet, marked with the lash, branded
    with red-hot irons, the initials of their master's name burned
    into their flesh; and the masters advertise the fact of their
    being thus branded with their own signature, thereby proving to
    the world, that, however damning it may appear to non-slavers,
    such practices are not regarded discreditable among the
    slaveholders themselves. Why, I believe if a man should brand
    his horse in this country--burn the initials of his name into any
    of his cattle, and publish the ferocious deed here--that the
    united execrations of Christians in Britain would descend upon
    him. Yet in the United States, human beings are thus branded.
    As Whittier says--
    . . . _Our countrymen in chains,
    The whip on woman's shrinking flesh,
    Our soil yet reddening with the stains
    Caught from her scourgings warm and fresh_.

    The slave-dealer boldly publishes his infamous acts to the world.
    Of all things that have been said of slavery to which exception
    has been taken by slaveholders, this, the charge of cruelty,
    stands foremost, and yet there is no charge capable of clearer
    demonstration, than that of the most barbarous inhumanity on the
    part of the slaveholders toward their slaves. And all this is
    necessary; it is necessary to resort to these cruelties, in order
    to _make the slave a slave_, and to _keep him a slave_. Why, my
    experience all goes to prove the truth of what you will call a
    marvelous proposition, that the better you treat a slave, the
    more you destroy his value _as a slave_, and enhance the
    probability of his eluding the grasp of the slaveholder; the more
    kindly you treat him, the more wretched you make him, while you
    keep him in the condition of a slave. My experience, I say,
    confirms the truth of this proposition. When I was treated
    exceedingly ill; when my back was being scourged daily; when I
    was whipped within an inch of my life--_life_ was all I cared
    for. "Spare my life," was my continual prayer. When I was
    looking for the blow about to be inflicted upon my head, I was
    not thinking of my liberty; it was my life. But, as soon as the
    blow was not to be feared, then came the longing for liberty. If
    a slave has a bad master, his ambition is to get a better; when
    he gets a better, he aspires to have the best; and when he gets
    the best, he aspires to be his own master. But the slave must be
    brutalized to keep him as a slave. The slaveholder feels this
    necessity. I admit this necessity. If it be right to hold
    slaves at all, it is right to hold them in the only way in
    which they can be held; and this can be done only by shutting out
    the light of education from their minds, and brutalizing their
    persons. The whip, the chain, the gag, the thumb-screw, the
    blood-hound, the stocks, and all the other bloody paraphernalia
    of the slave system, are indispensably necessary to the relation
    of master and slave. The slave must be subjected to these, or he
    ceases to be a slave. Let him know that the whip is burned; that
    the fetters have been turned to some useful and profitable
    employment; that the chain is no longer for his limbs; that the
    blood-hound is no longer to be put upon his track; that his
    master's authority over him is no longer to be enforced by taking
    his life--and immediately he walks out from the house of bondage
    and asserts his freedom as a man. The slaveholder finds it
    necessary to have these implements to keep the slave in bondage;
    finds it necessary to be able to say, "Unless you do so and so;
    unless you do as I bid you--I will take away your life!"

    Some of the most awful scenes of cruelty are constantly taking
    place in the middle states of the Union. We have in those states
    what are called the slave-breeding states. Allow me to speak
    plainly. Although it is harrowing to your feelings, it is
    necessary that the facts of the case should be stated. We have
    in the United States slave-breeding states. The very state from
    which the minister from our court to yours comes, is one of these
    states--Maryland, where men, women, and children are reared for
    the market, just as horses, sheep, and swine are raised for the
    market. Slave-rearing is there looked upon as a legitimate
    trade; the law sanctions it, public opinion upholds it, the
    church does not condemn it. It goes on in all its bloody
    horrors, sustained by the auctioneer's block. If you would see
    the cruelties of this system, hear the following narrative. Not
    long since the following scene occurred. A slave-woman and a
    slaveman had united themselves as man and wife in the absence of
    any law to protect them as man and wife. They had lived together
    by the permission, not by right, of their master, and they had
    reared a family. The master found it expedient, and for his
    interest, to sell them. He did not ask them their wishes in
    regard to the matter at all; they were not consulted. The man
    and woman were brought to the auctioneer's block, under the sound
    of the hammer. The cry was raised, "Here goes; who bids cash?"
    Think of it--a man and wife to be sold! The woman was placed on
    the auctioneer's block; her limbs, as is customary, were brutally
    exposed to the purchasers, who examined her with all the freedom
    with which they would examine a horse. There stood the husband,
    powerless; no right to his wife; the master's right preeminent.
    She was sold. He was next brought to the auctioneer's
    block. His eyes followed his wife in the distance; and he looked
    beseechingly, imploringly, to the man that had bought his wife,
    to buy him also. But he was at length bid off to another person.
    He was about to be separated forever from her he loved. No word
    of his, no work of his, could save him from this separation. He
    asked permission of his new master to go and take the hand of his
    wife at parting. It was denied him. In the agony of his soul he
    rushed from the man who had just bought him, that he might take a
    farewell of his wife; but his way was obstructed, he was struck
    over the head with a loaded whip, and was held for a moment; but
    his agony was too great. When he was let go, he fell a corpse at
    the feet of his master. His heart was broken. Such scenes are
    the everyday fruits of American slavery. Some two years since,
    the Hon. Seth. M. Gates, an anti-slavery gentleman of the state
    of New York, a representative in the congress of the United
    States, told me he saw with his own eyes the following
    circumstances. In the national District of Columbia, over which
    the star-spangled emblem is constantly waving, where orators are
    ever holding forth on the subject of American liberty, American
    democracy, American republicanism, there are two slave prisons.
    When going across a bridge, leading to one of these prisons, he
    saw a young woman run out, bare-footed and bare-headed, and with
    very little clothing on. She was running with all speed to the
    bridge he was approaching. His eye was fixed upon her, and he
    stopped to see what was the matter. He had not paused long
    before he saw three men run out after her. He now knew what the
    nature of the case was; a slave escaping from her chains--a young
    woman, a sister--escaping from the bondage in which she had been
    held. She made her way to the bridge, but had not reached, ere
    from the Virginia side there came two slaveholders. As soon as
    they saw them, her pursuers called out, "Stop her!" True to
    their Virginian instincts, they came to the rescue of their
    brother kidnappers, across the bridge. The poor girl now saw
    that there was no chance for her. It was a trying time. She
    knew if she went back, she must be a slave forever--she must be
    dragged down to the scenes of pollution which the slaveholders
    continually provide for most of the poor, sinking, wretched young
    women, whom they call their property. She formed her resolution;
    and just as those who were about to take her, were going to put
    hands upon her, to drag her back, she leaped over the balustrades
    of the bridge, and down she went to rise no more. She chose
    death, rather than to go back into the hands of those christian
    slaveholders from whom she had escaped.

    Can it be possible that such things as these exist in the United
    States? Are not these the exceptions? Are any such scenes
    as this general? Are not such deeds condemned by the law and
    denounced by public opinion? Let me read to you a few of the
    laws of the slaveholding states of America. I think no better
    exposure of slavery can be made than is made by the laws of the
    states in which slavery exists. I prefer reading the laws to
    making any statement in confirmation of what I have said myself;
    for the slaveholders cannot object to this testimony, since it is
    the calm, the cool, the deliberate enactment of their wisest
    heads, of their most clear-sighted, their own constituted
    representatives. "If more than seven slaves together are found
    in any road without a white person, twenty lashes a piece; for
    visiting a plantation without a written pass, ten lashes; for
    letting loose a boat from where it is made fast, thirty-nine
    lashes for the first offense; and for the second, shall have cut
    off from his head one ear; for keeping or carrying a club,
    thirty-nine lashes; for having any article for sale, without a
    ticket from his master, ten lashes; for traveling in any other
    than the most usual and accustomed road, when going alone to any
    place, forty lashes; for traveling in the night without a pass,
    forty lashes." I am afraid you do not understand the awful
    character of these lashes. You must bring it before your mind.
    A human being in a perfect state of nudity, tied hand and foot to
    a stake, and a strong man standing behind with a heavy whip,
    knotted at the end, each blow cutting into the flesh, and leaving
    the warm blood dripping to the feet; and for these trifles. "For
    being found in another person's negro-quarters, forty lashes; for
    hunting with dogs in the woods, thirty lashes; for being on
    horseback without the written permission of his master, twenty-
    five lashes; for riding or going abroad in the night, or riding
    horses in the day time, without leave, a slave may be whipped,
    cropped, or branded in the cheek with the letter R. or otherwise
    punished, such punishment not extending to life, or so as to
    render him unfit for labor." The laws referred to, may be found
    by consulting _Brevard's Digest; Haywood's Manual; Virginia
    Revised Code; Prince's Digest; Missouri Laws; Mississippi Revised
    Code_. A man, for going to visit his brethren, without the
    permission of his master--and in many instances he may not have
    that permission; his master, from caprice or other reasons, may
    not be willing to allow it--may be caught on his way, dragged to
    a post, the branding-iron heated, and the name of his master or
    the letter R branded into his cheek or on his forehead. They
    treat slaves thus, on the principle that they must punish for
    light offenses, in order to prevent the commission of larger
    ones. I wish you to mark that in the single state of Virginia
    there are seventy-one crimes for which a colored man may be
    executed; while there are only three of these crimes, which,
    when committed by a white man, will subject him to that
    punishment. There are many of these crimes which if the white
    man did not commit, he would be regarded as a scoundrel and a
    coward. In the state of Maryland, there is a law to this effect:
    that if a slave shall strike his master, he may be hanged, his
    head severed from his body, his body quartered, and his head and
    quarters set up in the most prominent places in the neighborhood.
    If a colored woman, in the defense of her own virtue, in defense
    of her own person, should shield herself from the brutal attacks
    of her tyrannical master, or make the slightest resistance, she
    may be killed on the spot. No law whatever will bring the guilty
    man to justice for the crime.

    But you will ask me, can these things be possible in a land
    professing Christianity? Yes, they are so; and this is not the
    worst. No; a darker feature is yet to be presented than the mere
    existence of these facts. I have to inform you that the religion
    of the southern states, at this time, is the great supporter, the
    great sanctioner of the bloody atrocities to which I have
    referred. While America is printing tracts and bibles; sending
    missionaries abroad to convert the heathen; expending her money
    in various ways for the promotion of the gospel in foreign
    lands--the slave not only lies forgotten, uncared for, but is
    trampled under foot by the very churches of the land. What have
    we in America? Why, we have slavery made part of the religion of
    the land. Yes, the pulpit there stands up as the great defender
    of this cursed _institution_, as it is called. Ministers of
    religion come forward and torture the hallowed pages of inspired
    wisdom to sanction the bloody deed. They stand forth as the
    foremost, the strongest defenders of this "institution." As a
    proof of this, I need not do more than state the general fact,
    that slavery has existed under the droppings of the sanctuary of
    the south for the last two hundred years, and there has not been
    any war between the _religion_ and the _slavery_ of the south.
    Whips, chains, gags, and thumb-screws have all lain under the
    droppings of the sanctuary, and instead of rusting from off the
    limbs of the bondman, those droppings have served to preserve
    them in all their strength. Instead of preaching the gospel
    against this tyranny, rebuke, and wrong, ministers of religion
    have sought, by all and every means, to throw in the back-ground
    whatever in the bible could be construed into opposition to
    slavery, and to bring forward that which they could torture into
    its support. This I conceive to be the darkest feature of
    slavery, and the most difficult to attack, because it is
    identified with religion, and exposes those who denounce it to
    the charge of infidelity. Yes, those with whom I have been
    laboring, namely, the old organization anti-slavery society
    of America, have been again and again stigmatized as infidels,
    and for what reason? Why, solely in consequence of the
    faithfulness of their attacks upon the slaveholding religion of
    the southern states, and the northern religion that sympathizes
    with it. I have found it difficult to speak on this matter
    without persons coming forward and saying, "Douglass, are you not
    afraid of injuring the cause of Christ? You do not desire to do
    so, we know; but are you not undermining religion?" This has
    been said to me again and again, even since I came to this
    country, but I cannot be induced to leave off these exposures. I
    love the religion of our blessed Savior. I love that religion
    that comes from above, in the "wisdom of God, which is first
    pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of
    mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
    I love that religion that sends its votaries to bind up the
    wounds of him that has fallen among thieves. I love that
    religion that makes it the duty of its disciples to visit the
    father less and the widow in their affliction. I love that
    religion that is based upon the glorious principle, of love to
    God and love to man; which makes its followers do unto others as
    they themselves would be done by. If you demand liberty to
    yourself, it says, grant it to your neighbors. If you claim a
    right to think for yourself, it says, allow your neighbors the
    same right. If you claim to act for yourself, it says, allow
    your neighbors the same right. It is because I love this
    religion that I hate the slaveholding, the woman-whipping, the
    mind-darkening, the soul-destroying religion that exists in the
    southern states of America. It is because I regard the one as
    good, and pure, and holy, that I cannot but regard the other as
    bad, corrupt, and wicked. Loving the one I must hate the other;
    holding to the one I must reject the other.

    I may be asked, why I am so anxious to bring this subject before
    the British public--why I do not confine my efforts to the United
    States? My answer is, first, that slavery is the common enemy of
    mankind, and all mankind should be made acquainted with its
    abominable character. My next answer is, that the slave is a
    man, and, as such, is entitled to your sympathy as a brother.
    All the feelings, all the susceptibilities, all the capacities,
    which you have, he has. He is a part of the human family. He
    has been the prey--the common prey--of Christendom for the last
    three hundred years, and it is but right, it is but just, it is
    but proper, that his wrongs should be known throughout the world.
    I have another reason for bringing this matter before the British
    public, and it is this: slavery is a system of wrong, so blinding
    to all around, so hardening to the heart, so corrupting to the
    morals, so deleterious to religion, so sapping to all the
    principles of justice in its immediate vicinity, that the
    community surrounding it lack the moral stamina necessary to its
    removal. It is a system of such gigantic evil, so strong, so
    overwhelming in its power, that no one nation is equal to its
    removal. It requires the humanity of Christianity, the morality
    of the world to remove it. Hence, I call upon the people of
    Britain to look at this matter, and to exert the influence I am
    about to show they possess, for the removal of slavery from
    America. I can appeal to them, as strongly by their regard for
    the slaveholder as for the slave, to labor in this cause. I am
    here, because you have an influence on America that no other
    nation can have. You have been drawn together by the power of
    steam to a marvelous extent; the distance between London and
    Boston is now reduced to some twelve or fourteen days, so that
    the denunciations against slavery, uttered in London this week,
    may be heard in a fortnight in the streets of Boston, and
    reverberating amidst the hills of Massachusetts. There is
    nothing said here against slavery that will not be recorded in
    the United States. I am here, also, because the slaveholders do
    not want me to be here; they would rather that I were not here.
    I have adopted a maxim laid down by Napoleon, never to occupy
    ground which the enemy would like me to occupy. The slaveholders
    would much rather have me, if I will denounce slavery, denounce
    it in the northern states, where their friends and supporters
    are, who will stand by and mob me for denouncing it. They feel
    something as the man felt, when he uttered his prayer, in which
    he made out a most horrible case for himself, and one of his
    neighbors touched him and said, "My friend, I always had the
    opinion of you that you have now expressed for yourself--that you
    are a very great sinner." Coming from himself, it was all very
    well, but coming from a stranger it was rather cutting. The
    slaveholders felt that when slavery was denounced among
    themselves, it was not so bad; but let one of the slaves get
    loose, let him summon the people of Britain, and make known to
    them the conduct of the slaveholders toward their slaves, and it
    cuts them to the quick, and produces a sensation such as would be
    produced by nothing else. The power I exert now is something
    like the power that is exerted by the man at the end of the
    lever; my influence now is just in proportion to the distance
    that I am from the United States. My exposure of slavery abroad
    will tell more upon the hearts and consciences of slaveholders,
    than if I was attacking them in America; for almost every paper
    that I now receive from the United States, comes teeming with
    statements about this fugitive Negro, calling him a "glib-tongued
    scoundrel," and saying that he is running out against the
    institutions and people of America. I deny the charge that I am
    saying a word against the institutions of America, or the
    people, as such. What I have to say is against slavery and
    slaveholders. I feel at liberty to speak on this subject. I
    have on my back the marks of the lash; I have four sisters and
    one brother now under the galling chain. I feel it my duty to
    cry aloud and spare not. I am not averse to having the good
    opinion of my fellow creatures. I am not averse to being kindly
    regarded by all men; but I am bound, even at the hazard of making
    a large class of religionists in this country hate me, oppose me,
    and malign me as they have done--I am bound by the prayers, and
    tears, and entreaties of three millions of kneeling bondsmen, to
    have no compromise with men who are in any shape or form
    connected with the slaveholders of America. I expose slavery in
    this country, because to expose it is to kill it. Slavery is one
    of those monsters of darkness to whom the light of truth is
    death. Expose slavery, and it dies. Light is to slavery what
    the heat of the sun is to the root of a tree; it must die under
    it. All the slaveholder asks of me is silence. He does not ask
    me to go abroad and preach _in favor_ of slavery; he does not ask
    any one to do that. He would not say that slavery is a good
    thing, but the best under the circumstances. The slaveholders
    want total darkness on the subject. They want the hatchway shut
    down, that the monster may crawl in his den of darkness, crushing
    human hopes and happiness, destroying the bondman at will, and
    having no one to reprove or rebuke him. Slavery shrinks from the
    light; it hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest its
    deeds should be reproved. To tear off the mask from this
    abominable system, to expose it to the light of heaven, aye, to
    the heat of the sun, that it may burn and wither it out of
    existence, is my object in coming to this country. I want the
    slaveholder surrounded, as by a wall of anti-slavery fire, so
    that he may see the condemnation of himself and his system
    glaring down in letters of light. I want him to feel that he has
    no sympathy in England, Scotland, or Ireland; that he has none in
    Canada, none in Mexico, none among the poor wild Indians; that
    the voice of the civilized, aye, and savage world is against him.
    I would have condemnation blaze down upon him in every direction,
    till, stunned and overwhelmed with shame and confusion, he is
    compelled to let go the grasp he holds upon the persons of his
    victims, and restore them to their long-lost rights.

    _Dr. Campbell's Reply_

    From Rev. Dr. Campbell's brilliant reply we extract the
    following: FREDERICK DOUGLASS, the beast of burden," the portion
    of "goods and chattels," the representative of three millions of
    men, has been raised up! Shall I say the _man?_ If there
    is a man on earth, he is a man. My blood boiled within me when I
    heard his address tonight, and thought that he had left behind
    him three millions of such men.

    We must see more of this man; we must have more of this man. One
    would have taken a voyage round the globe some forty years back--
    especially since the introduction of steam--to have heard such an
    exposure of slavery from the lips of a slave. It will be an era
    in the individual history of the present assembly. Our
    children--our boys and girls--I have tonight seen the delightful
    sympathy of their hearts evinced by their heaving breasts, while
    their eyes sparkled with wonder and admiration, that this black
    man--this slave--had so much logic, so much wit, so much fancy,
    so much eloquence. He was something more than a man, according
    to their little notions. Then, I say, we must hear him again.
    We have got a purpose to accomplish. He has appealed to the
    pulpit of England. The English pulpit is with him. He has
    appealed to the press of England; the press of England is
    conducted by English hearts, and that press will do him justice.
    About ten days hence, and his second master, who may well prize
    "such a piece of goods," will have the pleasure of reading his
    burning words, and his first master will bless himself that he
    has got quit of him. We have to create public opinion, or
    rather, not to create it, for it is created already; but we have
    to foster it; and when tonight I heard those magnificent words--
    the words of Curran, by which my heart, from boyhood, has
    ofttimes been deeply moved--I rejoice to think that they embody
    an instinct of an Englishman's nature. I heard, with
    inexpressible delight, how they told on this mighty mass of the
    citizens of the metropolis.

    Britain has now no slaves; we can therefore talk to the other
    nations now, as we could not have talked a dozen years ago. I
    want the whole of the London ministry to meet Douglass. For as
    his appeal is to England, and throughout England, I should
    rejoice in the idea of churchmen and dissenters merging all
    sectional distinctions in this cause. Let us have a public
    breakfast. Let the ministers meet him; let them hear him; let
    them grasp his hand; and let him enlist their sympathies on
    behalf of the slave. Let him inspire them with abhorrence of the
    man-stealer--the slaveholder. No slaveholding American shall
    ever my cross my door. No slaveholding or slavery-supporting
    minister shall ever pollute my pulpit. While I have a tongue to
    speak, or a hand to write, I will, to the utmost of my power,
    oppose these slaveholding men. We must have Douglass amongst us
    to aid in fostering public opinion.

    The great conflict with slavery must now take place in America;
    and while they are adding other slave states to the Union,
    our business is to step forward and help the abolitionists there.
    It is a pleasing circumstance that such a body of men has risen
    in America, and whilst we hurl our thunders against her slavers,
    let us make a distinction between those who advocate slavery and
    those who oppose it. George Thompson has been there. This man,
    Frederick Douglass, has been there, and has been compelled to
    flee. I wish, when he first set foot on our shores, he had made
    a solemn vow, and said, "Now that I am free, and in the sanctuary
    of freedom, I will never return till I have seen the emancipation
    of my country completed." He wants to surround these men, the
    slaveholders, as by a wall of fire; and he himself may do much
    toward kindling it. Let him travel over the island--east, west,
    north, and south--everywhere diffusing knowledge and awakening
    principle, till the whole nation become a body of petitioners to
    America. He will, he must, do it. He must for a season make
    England his home. He must send for his wife. He must send for
    his children. I want to see the sons and daughters of such a
    sire. We, too, must do something for him and them worthy of the
    English name. I do not like the idea of a man of such mental
    dimensions, such moral courage, and all but incomparable talent,
    having his own small wants, and the wants of a distant wife and
    children, supplied by the poor profits of his publication, the
    sketch of his life. Let the pamphlet be bought by tens of
    thousands. But we will do something more for him, shall we not?

    It only remains that we pass a resolution of thanks to Frederick
    Douglass, the slave that was, the man that is! He that was
    covered with chains, and that is now being covered with glory,
    and whom we will send back a gentleman.

    LETTER TO HIS OLD MASTER.[11]
    _To My Old Master, Thomas Auld_

    SIR--The long and intimate, though by no means friendly, relation
    which unhappily subsisted between you and myself, leads me to
    hope that you will easily account for the great liberty which I
    now take in addressing you in this open and public manner. The
    same fact may remove any disagreeable surprise which you may
    experience on again finding your name coupled with mine, in any
    other way than in an advertisement, accurately describing my
    person, and offering a large sum for my arrest. In thus dragging
    you again before the public, I am aware that I shall subject
    myself to no inconsiderable amount of censure. I shall probably
    be charged with an unwarrantable, if not a wanton and reckless
    disregard of the rights and properties of private life. There
    are those north as well as south who entertain a much higher
    respect for rights which are merely conventional, than they do
    for rights which are personal and essential. Not a few there are
    in our country, who, while they have no scruples against robbing
    the laborer of the hard earned results of his patient industry,
    will be shocked by the extremely indelicate manner of bringing
    your name before the public. Believing this to be the case, and
    wishing to meet every reasonable or plausible objection to my
    conduct, I will frankly state the ground upon which I justfy{sic}
    myself in this instance, as well as on former occasions when I
    have thought proper to mention your name in public. All will
    agree that a man guilty of theft, robbery, or murder, has
    forfeited the right to concealment and private life; that the
    community have a right to subject such persons to the most
    complete exposure. However much they may desire retirement, and
    aim to conceal themselves and their movements from the popular
    gaze, the public have a right to ferret them out, and bring their
    conduct before

    [11] It is not often that chattels address their owners. The
    following letter is unique; and probably the only specimen of the
    kind extant. It was written while in England.

    the proper tribunals of the country for investigation. Sir,
    you will undoubtedly make the proper application of these
    generally admitted principles, and will easily see the light in
    which you are regarded by me; I will not therefore manifest ill
    temper, by calling you hard names. I know you to be a man of
    some intelligence, and can readily determine the precise estimate
    which I entertain of your character. I may therefore indulge in
    language which may seem to others indirect and ambiguous, and yet
    be quite well understood by yourself.

    I have selected this day on which to address you, because it is
    the anniversary of my emancipation; and knowing no better way, I
    am led to this as the best mode of celebrating that truly
    important events. Just ten years ago this beautiful September
    morning, yon bright sun beheld me a slave--a poor degraded
    chattel--trembling at the sound of your voice, lamenting that I
    was a man, and wishing myself a brute. The hopes which I had
    treasured up for weeks of a safe and successful escape from your
    grasp, were powerfully confronted at this last hour by dark
    clouds of doubt and fear, making my person shake and my bosom to
    heave with the heavy contest between hope and fear. I have no
    words to describe to you the deep agony of soul which I
    experienced on that never-to-be-forgotten morning--for I left by
    daylight. I was making a leap in the dark. The probabilities,
    so far as I could by reason determine them, were stoutly against
    the undertaking. The preliminaries and precautions I had adopted
    previously, all worked badly. I was like one going to war
    without weapons--ten chances of defeat to one of victory. One in
    whom I had confided, and one who had promised me assistance,
    appalled by fear at the trial hour, deserted me, thus leaving the
    responsibility of success or failure solely with myself. You,
    sir, can never know my feelings. As I look back to them, I can
    scarcely realize that I have passed through a scene so trying.
    Trying, however, as they were, and gloomy as was the prospect,
    thanks be to the Most High, who is ever the God of the oppressed,
    at the moment which was to determine my whole earthly career, His
    grace was sufficient; my mind was made up. I embraced the golden
    opportunity, took the morning tide at the flood, and a free man,
    young, active, and strong, is the result.

    I have often thought I should like to explain to you the grounds
    upon which I have justified myself in running away from you. I
    am almost ashamed to do so now, for by this time you may have
    discovered them yourself. I will, however, glance at them. When
    yet but a child about six years old, I imbibed the determination
    to run away. The very first mental effort that I now
    remember on my part, was an attempt to solve the mystery--why am
    I a slave? and with this question my youthful mind was troubled
    for many days, pressing upon me more heavily at times than
    others. When I saw the slave-driver whip a slave-woman, cut the
    blood out of her neck, and heard her piteous cries, I went away
    into the corner of the fence, wept and pondered over the mystery.
    I had, through some medium, I know not what, got some idea of
    God, the Creator of all mankind, the black and the white, and
    that he had made the blacks to serve the whites as slaves. How
    he could do this and be _good_, I could not tell. I was not
    satisfied with this theory, which made God responsible for
    slavery, for it pained me greatly, and I have wept over it long
    and often. At one time, your first wife, Mrs. Lucretia, heard me
    sighing and saw me shedding tears, and asked of me the matter,
    but I was afraid to tell her. I was puzzled with this question,
    till one night while sitting in the kitchen, I heard some of the
    old slaves talking of their parents having been stolen from
    Africa by white men, and were sold here as slaves. The whole
    mystery was solved at once. Very soon after this, my Aunt Jinny
    and Uncle Noah ran away, and the great noise made about it by
    your father-in-law, made me for the first time acquainted with
    the fact, that there were free states as well as slave states.
    From that time, I resolved that I would some day run away. The
    morality of the act I dispose of as follows: I am myself; you
    are yourself; we are two distinct persons, equal persons. What
    you are, I am. You are a man, and so am I. God created both,
    and made us separate beings. I am not by nature bond to you, or
    you to me. Nature does not make your existence depend upon me,
    or mine to depend upon yours. I cannot walk upon your legs, or
    you upon mine. I cannot breathe for you, or you for me; I must
    breathe for myself, and you for yourself. We are distinct
    persons, and are each equally provided with faculties necessary
    to our individual existence. In leaving you, I took nothing but
    what belonged to me, and in no way lessened your means for
    obtaining an _honest_ living. Your faculties remained yours, and
    mine became useful to their rightful owner. I therefore see no
    wrong in any part of the transaction. It is true, I went off
    secretly; but that was more your fault than mine. Had I let you
    into the secret, you would have defeated the enterprise entirely;
    but for this, I should have been really glad to have made you
    acquainted with my intentions to leave.

    You may perhaps want to know how I like my present condition. I
    am free to say, I greatly prefer it to that which I occupied in
    Maryland. I am, however, by no means prejudiced against the
    state as such. Its geography, climate, fertility, and products,
    are such as to make it a very desirable abode for any man;
    and but for the existence of slavery there, it is not impossible
    that I might again take up my abode in that state. It is not
    that I love Maryland less, but freedom more. You will be
    surprised to learn that people at the north labor under the
    strange delusion that if the slaves were emancipated at the
    south, they would flock to the north. So far from this being the
    case, in that event, you would see many old and familiar faces
    back again to the south. The fact is, there are few here who
    would not return to the south in the event of emancipation. We
    want to live in the land of our birth, and to lay our bones by
    the side of our fathers; and nothing short of an intense love of
    personal freedom keeps us from the south. For the sake of this,
    most of us would live on a crust of bread and a cup of cold
    water.

    Since I left you, I have had a rich experience. I have occupied
    stations which I never dreamed of when a slave. Three out of the
    ten years since I left you, I spent as a common laborer on the
    wharves of New Bedford, Massachusetts. It was there I earned my
    first free dollar. It was mine. I could spend it as I pleased.
    I could buy hams or herring with it, without asking any odds of
    anybody. That was a precious dollar to me. You remember when I
    used to make seven, or eight, or even nine dollars a week in
    Baltimore, you would take every cent of it from me every Saturday
    night, saying that I belonged to you, and my earnings also. I
    never liked this conduct on your part--to say the best, I thought
    it a little mean. I would not have served you so. But let that
    pass. I was a little awkward about counting money in New England
    fashion when I first landed in New Bedford. I came near
    betraying myself several times. I caught myself saying phip, for
    fourpence; and at one time a man actually charged me with being a
    runaway, whereupon I was silly enough to become one by running
    away from him, for I was greatly afraid he might adopt measures
    to get me again into slavery, a condition I then dreaded more
    than death.

    I soon learned, however, to count money, as well as to make it,
    and got on swimmingly. I married soon after leaving you; in
    fact, I was engaged to be married before I left you; and instead
    of finding my companion a burden, she was truly a helpmate. She
    went to live at service, and I to work on the wharf, and though
    we toiled hard the first winter, we never lived more happily.
    After remaining in New Bedford for three years, I met with
    William Lloyd Garrison, a person of whom you have _possibly_
    heard, as he is pretty generally known among slaveholders. He
    put it into my head that I might make myself serviceable to the
    cause of the slave, by devoting a portion of my time to telling
    my own sorrows, and those of other slaves, which had come under
    my observation. This was the commencement of a higher state
    of existence than any to which I had ever aspired. I was thrown
    into society the most pure, enlightened, and benevolent, that the
    country affords. Among these I have never forgotten you, but
    have invariably made you the topic of conversation--thus giving
    you all the notoriety I could do. I need not tell you that the
    opinion formed of you in these circles is far from being
    favorable. They have little respect for your honesty, and less
    for your religion.

    But I was going on to relate to you something of my interesting
    experience. I had not long enjoyed the excellent society to
    which I have referred, before the light of its excellence exerted
    a beneficial influence on my mind and heart. Much of my early
    dislike of white persons was removed, and their manners, habits,
    and customs, so entirely unlike what I had been used to in the
    kitchen-quarters on the plantations of the south, fairly charmed
    me, and gave me a strong disrelish for the coarse and degrading
    customs of my former condition. I therefore made an effort so to
    improve my mind and deportment, as to be somewhat fitted to the
    station to which I seemed almost providentially called. The
    transition from degradation to respectability was indeed great,
    and to get from one to the other without carrying some marks of
    one's former condition, is truly a difficult matter. I would not
    have you think that I am now entirely clear of all plantation
    peculiarities, but my friends here, while they entertain the
    strongest dislike to them, regard me with that charity to which
    my past life somewhat entitles me, so that my condition in this
    respect is exceedingly pleasant. So far as my domestic affairs
    are concerned, I can boast of as comfortable a dwelling as your
    own. I have an industrious and neat companion, and four dear
    children--the oldest a girl of nine years, and three fine boys,
    the oldest eight, the next six, and the youngest four years old.
    The three oldest are now going regularly to school--two can read
    and write, and the other can spell, with tolerable correctness,
    words of two syllables. Dear fellows! they are all in
    comfortable beds, and are sound asleep, perfectly secure under my
    own roof. There are no slaveholders here to rend my heart by
    snatching them from my arms, or blast a mother's dearest hopes by
    tearing them from her bosom. These dear children are ours--not
    to work up into rice, sugar, and tobacco, but to watch over,
    regard, and protect, and to rear them up in the nurture and
    admonition of the gospel--to train them up in the paths of wisdom
    and virtue, and, as far as we can, to make them useful to the
    world and to themselves. Oh! sir, a slaveholder never appears to
    me so completely an agent of hell, as when I think of and look
    upon my dear children. It is then that my feelings rise above my
    control. I meant to have said more with respect to my own
    prosperity and happiness, but thoughts and feelings which
    this recital has quickened, unfit me to proceed further in that
    direction. The grim horrors of slavery rise in all their ghastly
    terror before me; the wails of millions pierce my heart and chill
    my blood. I remember the chain, the gag, the bloody whip; the
    death-like gloom overshadowing the broken spirit of the fettered
    bondman; the appalling liability of his being torn away from wife
    and children, and sold like a beast in the market. Say not that
    this is a picture of fancy. You well know that I wear stripes on
    my back, inflicted by your direction; and that you, while we were
    brothers in the same church, caused this right hand, with which I
    am now penning this letter, to be closely tied to my left, and my
    person dragged, at the pistol's mouth, fifteen miles, from the
    Bay Side to Easton, to be sold like a beast in the market, for
    the alleged crime of intending to escape from your possession.
    All this, and more, you remember, and know to be perfectly true,
    not only of yourself, but of nearly all of the slaveholders
    around you.

    At this moment, you are probably the guilty holder of at least
    three of my own dear sisters, and my only brother, in bondage.
    These you regard as your property. They are recorded on your
    ledger, or perhaps have been sold to human flesh-mongers, with a
    view to filling our own ever-hungry purse. Sir, I desire to know
    how and where these dear sisters are. Have you sold them? or are
    they still in your possession? What has become of them? are they
    living or dead? And my dear old grandmother, whom you turned out
    like an old horse to die in the woods--is she still alive? Write
    and let me know all about them. If my grandmother be still
    alive, she is of no service to you, for by this time she must be
    nearly eighty years old--too old to be cared for by one to whom
    she has ceased to be of service; send her to me at Rochester, or
    bring her to Philadelphia, and it shall be the crowning happiness
    of my life to take care of her in her old age. Oh! she was to me
    a mother and a father, so far as hard toil for my comfort could
    make her such. Send me my grandmother! that I may watch over and
    take care of her in her old age. And my sisters--let me know all
    about them. I would write to them, and learn all I want to know
    of them, without disturbing you in any way, but that, through
    your unrighteous conduct, they have been entirely deprived of the
    power to read and write. You have kept them in utter ignorance,
    and have therefore robbed them of the sweet enjoyments of writing
    or receiving letters from absent friends and relatives. Your
    wickedness and cruelty, committed in this respect on your fellow-
    creatures, are greater than all the stripes you have laid upon my
    back or theirs. It is an outrage upon the soul, a war upon the
    immortal spirit, and one for which you must give account at the
    bar of our common Father and Creator.

    The responsibility which you have assumed in this regard is truly
    awful, and how you could stagger under it these many years is
    marvelous. Your mind must have become darkened, your heart
    hardened, your conscience seared and petrified, or you would have
    long since thrown off the accursed load, and sought relief at the
    hands of a sin-forgiving God. How, let me ask, would you look
    upon me, were I, some dark night, in company with a band of
    hardened villains, to enter the precincts of your elegant
    dwelling, and seize the person of your own lovely daughter,
    Amanda, and carry her off from your family, friends, and all the
    loved ones of her youth--make her my slave--compel her to work,
    and I take her wages--place her name on my ledger as property--
    disregard her personal rights--fetter the powers of her immortal
    soul by denying her the right and privilege of learning to read
    and write--feed her coarsely--clothe her scantily, and whip her
    on the naked back occasionally; more, and still more horrible,
    leave her unprotected--a degraded victim to the brutal lust of
    fiendish overseers, who would pollute, blight, and blast her fair
    soul--rob her of all dignity--destroy her virtue, and annihilate
    in her person all the graces that adorn the character of virtuous
    womanhood? I ask, how would you regard me, if such were my
    conduct? Oh! the vocabulary of the damned would not afford a
    word sufficiently infernal to express your idea of my God-
    provoking wickedness. Yet, sir, your treatment of my beloved
    sisters is in all essential points precisely like the case I have
    now supposed. Damning as would be such a deed on my part, it
    would be no more so than that which you have committed against me
    and my sisters.

    I will now bring this letter to a close; you shall hear from me
    again unless you let me hear from you. I intend to make use of
    you as a weapon with which to assail the system of slavery--as a
    means of concentrating public attention on the system, and
    deepening the horror of trafficking in the souls and bodies of
    men. I shall make use of you as a means of exposing the
    character of the American church and clergy--and as a means of
    bringing this guilty nation, with yourself, to repentance. In
    doing this, I entertain no malice toward you personally. There
    is no roof under which you would be more safe than mine, and
    there is nothing in my house which you might need for your
    comfort, which I would not readily grant. Indeed, I should
    esteem it a privilege to set you an example as to how mankind
    ought to treat each other.

    _I am your fellow-man, but not your slave_.

    THE NATURE OF SLAVERY
    _Extract from a Lecture on Slavery, at Rochester,
    December 1, 1850_

    More than twenty years of my life were consumed in a state of
    slavery. My childhood was environed by the baneful peculiarities
    of the slave system. I grew up to manhood in the presence of
    this hydra headed monster--not as a master--not as an idle
    spectator--not as the guest of the slaveholder--but as A SLAVE,
    eating the bread and drinking the cup of slavery with the most
    degraded of my brother-bondmen, and sharing with them all the
    painful conditions of their wretched lot. In consideration of
    these facts, I feel that I have a right to speak, and to speak
    _strongly_. Yet, my friends, I feel bound to speak truly.

    Goading as have been the cruelties to which I have been
    subjected--bitter as have been the trials through which I have
    passed--exasperating as have been, and still are, the indignities
    offered to my manhood--I find in them no excuse for the slightest
    departure from truth in dealing with any branch of this subject.

    First of all, I will state, as well as I can, the legal and
    social relation of master and slave. A master is one--to speak
    in the vocabulary of the southern states--who claims and
    exercises a right of property in the person of a fellow-man.
    This he does with the force of the law and the sanction of
    southern religion. The law gives the master absolute power over
    the slave. He may work him, flog him, hire him out, sell him,
    and, in certain contingencies, _kill_ him, with perfect impunity.
    The slave is a human being, divested of all rights--reduced to
    the level of a brute--a mere "chattel" in the eye of the law--
    placed beyond the circle of human brotherhood--cut off from his
    kind--his name, which the "recording angel" may have enrolled in
    heaven, among the blest, is impiously inserted in a _master's
    ledger_, with horses, sheep, and swine. In law, the slave has no
    wife, no children, no country, and no home. He can own nothing,
    possess nothing, acquire nothing, but what must belong to
    another. To eat the fruit of his own toil, to clothe his
    person with the work of his own hands, is considered stealing.
    He toils that another may reap the fruit; he is industrious that
    another may live in idleness; he eats unbolted meal that another
    may eat the bread of fine flour; he labors in chains at home,
    under a burning sun and biting lash, that another may ride in
    ease and splendor abroad; he lives in ignorance that another may
    be educated; he is abused that another may be exalted; he rests
    his toil-worn limbs on the cold, damp ground that another may
    repose on the softest pillow; he is clad in coarse and tattered
    raiment that another may be arrayed in purple and fine linen; he
    is sheltered only by the wretched hovel that a master may dwell
    in a magnificent mansion; and to this condition he is bound down
    as by an arm of iron.

    From this monstrous relation there springs an unceasing stream of
    most revolting cruelties. The very accompaniments of the slave
    system stamp it as the offspring of hell itself. To ensure good
    behavior, the slaveholder relies on the whip; to induce proper
    humility, he relies on the whip; to rebuke what he is pleased to
    term insolence, he relies on the whip; to supply the place of
    wages as an incentive to toil, he relies on the whip; to bind
    down the spirit of the slave, to imbrute and destroy his manhood,
    he relies on the whip, the chain, the gag, the thumb-screw, the
    pillory, the bowie knife the pistol, and the blood-hound. These
    are the necessary and unvarying accompaniments of the system.
    Wherever slavery is found, these horrid instruments are also
    found. Whether on the coast of Africa, among the savage tribes,
    or in South Carolina, among the refined and civilized, slavery is
    the same, and its accompaniments one and the same. It makes no
    difference whether the slaveholder worships the God of the
    Christians, or is a follower of Mahomet, he is the minister of
    the same cruelty, and the author of the same misery. _Slavery_
    is always _slavery;_ always the same foul, haggard, and damning
    scourge, whether found in the eastern or in the western
    hemisphere.

    There is a still deeper shade to be given to this picture. The
    physical cruelties are indeed sufficiently harassing and
    revolting; but they are as a few grains of sand on the sea shore,
    or a few drops of water in the great ocean, compared with the
    stupendous wrongs which it inflicts upon the mental, moral, and
    religious nature of its hapless victims. It is only when we
    contemplate the slave as a moral and intellectual being, that we
    can adequately comprehend the unparalleled enormity of slavery,
    and the intense criminality of the slaveholder. I have said that
    the slave was a man. "What a piece of work is man! How noble in
    reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving how
    express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In
    apprehension how like a God! The beauty of the world! The
    paragon of animals!"

    The slave is a man, "the image of God," but "a little lower than
    the angels;" possessing a soul, eternal and indestructible;
    capable of endless happiness, or immeasurable woe; a creature of
    hopes and fears, of affections and passions, of joys and sorrows,
    and he is endowed with those mysterious powers by which man soars
    above the things of time and sense, and grasps, with undying
    tenacity, the elevating and sublimely glorious idea of a God. It
    is _such_ a being that is smitten and blasted. The first work of
    slavery is to mar and deface those characteristics of its victims
    which distinguish _men_ from _things_, and _persons_ from
    _property_. Its first aim is to destroy all sense of high moral
    and religious responsibility. It reduces man to a mere machine.
    It cuts him off from his Maker, it hides from him the laws of
    God, and leaves him to grope his way from time to eternity in the
    dark, under the arbitrary and despotic control of a frail,
    depraved, and sinful fellow-man. As the serpent-charmer of India
    is compelled to extract the deadly teeth of his venomous prey
    before he is able to handle him with impunity, so the slaveholder
    must strike down the conscience of the slave before he can obtain
    the entire mastery over his victim.

    It is, then, the first business of the enslaver of men to blunt,
    deaden, and destroy the central principle of human
    responsibility. Conscience is, to the individual soul, and to
    society, what the law of gravitation is to the universe. It
    holds society together; it is the basis of all trust and
    confidence; it is the pillar of all moral rectitude. Without it,
    suspicion would take the place of trust; vice would be more than
    a match for virtue; men would prey upon each other, like the wild
    beasts of the desert; and earth would become a _hell_.

    Nor is slavery more adverse to the conscience than it is to the
    mind. This is shown by the fact, that in every state of the
    American Union, where slavery exists, except the state of
    Kentucky, there are laws absolutely prohibitory of education
    among the slaves. The crime of teaching a slave to read is
    punishable with severe fines and imprisonment, and, in some
    instances, with _death itself_.

    Nor are the laws respecting this matter a dead letter. Cases may
    occur in which they are disregarded, and a few instances may be
    found where slaves may have learned to read; but such are
    isolated cases, and only prove the rule. The great mass of
    slaveholders look upon education among the slaves as utterly
    subversive of the slave system. I well remember when my mistress
    first announced to my master that she had discovered that I
    could read. His face colored at once with surprise and chagrin.
    He said that "I was ruined, and my value as a slave destroyed;
    that a slave should know nothing but to obey his master; that to
    give a negro an inch would lead him to take an ell; that having
    learned how to read, I would soon want to know how to write; and
    that by-and-by I would be running away." I think my audience
    will bear witness to the correctness of this philosophy, and to
    the literal fulfillment of this prophecy.

    It is perfectly well understood at the south, that to educate a
    slave is to make him discontened{sic} with slavery, and to invest
    him with a power which shall open to him the treasures of
    freedom; and since the object of the slaveholder is to maintain
    complete authority over his slave, his constant vigilance is
    exercised to prevent everything which militates against, or
    endangers, the stability of his authority. Education being among
    the menacing influences, and, perhaps, the most dangerous, is,
    therefore, the most cautiously guarded against.

    It is true that we do not often hear of the enforcement of the
    law, punishing as a crime the teaching of slaves to read, but
    this is not because of a want of disposition to enforce it. The
    true reason or explanation of the matter is this: there is the
    greatest unanimity of opinion among the white population in the
    south in favor of the policy of keeping the slave in ignorance.
    There is, perhaps, another reason why the law against education
    is so seldom violated. The slave is too poor to be able to offer
    a temptation sufficiently strong to induce a white man to violate
    it; and it is not to be supposed that in a community where the
    moral and religious sentiment is in favor of slavery, many
    martyrs will be found sacrificing their liberty and lives by
    violating those prohibitory enactments.

    As a general rule, then, darkness reigns over the abodes of the
    enslaved, and "how great is that darkness!"

    We are sometimes told of the contentment of the slaves, and are
    entertained with vivid pictures of their happiness. We are told
    that they often dance and sing; that their masters frequently
    give them wherewith to make merry; in fine, that they have little
    of which to complain. I admit that the slave does sometimes
    sing, dance, and appear to be merry. But what does this prove?
    It only proves to my mind, that though slavery is armed with a
    thousand stings, it is not able entirely to kill the elastic
    spirit of the bondman. That spirit will rise and walk abroad,
    despite of whips and chains, and extract from the cup of nature
    occasional drops of joy and gladness. No thanks to the
    slaveholder, nor to slavery, that the vivacious captive may
    sometimes dance in his chains; his very mirth in such
    circumstances stands before God as an accusing angel against his
    enslaver.

    It is often said, by the opponents of the anti-slavery cause,
    that the condition of the people of Ireland is more deplorable
    than that of the American slaves. Far be it from me to underrate
    the sufferings of the Irish people. They have been long
    oppressed; and the same heart that prompts me to plead the cause
    of the American bondman, makes it impossible for me not to
    sympathize with the oppressed of all lands. Yet I must say that
    there is no analogy between the two cases. The Irishman is poor,
    but he is not a slave. He may be in rags, but he is not a slave.
    He is still the master of his own body, and can say with the
    poet, "The hand of Douglass is his own." "The world is all
    before him, where to choose;" and poor as may be my opinion of
    the British parliament, I cannot believe that it will ever sink
    to such a depth of infamy as to pass a law for the recapture of
    fugitive Irishmen! The shame and scandal of kidnapping will long
    remain wholly monopolized by the American congress. The Irishman
    has not only the liberty to emigrate from his country, but he has
    liberty at home. He can write, and speak, and cooperate for the
    attainment of his rights and the redress of his wrongs.

    The multitude can assemble upon all the green hills and fertile
    plains of the Emerald Isle; they can pour out their grievances,
    and proclaim their wants without molestation; and the press, that
    "swift-winged messenger," can bear the tidings of their doings to
    the extreme bounds of the civilized world. They have their
    "Conciliation Hall," on the banks of the Liffey, their reform
    clubs, and their newspapers; they pass resolutions, send forth
    addresses, and enjoy the right of petition. But how is it with
    the American slave? Where may he assemble? Where is his
    Conciliation Hall? Where are his newspapers? Where is his right
    of petition? Where is his freedom of speech? his liberty of the
    press? and his right of locomotion? He is said to be happy;
    happy men can speak. But ask the slave what is his condition--
    what his state of mind--what he thinks of enslavement? and you
    had as well address your inquiries to the _silent dead_. There
    comes no _voice_ from the enslaved. We are left to gather his
    feelings by imagining what ours would be, were our souls in his
    soul's stead.

    If there were no other fact descriptive of slavery, than that the
    slave is dumb, this alone would be sufficient to mark the slave
    system as a grand aggregation of human horrors.

    Most who are present, will have observed that leading men in this
    country have been putting forth their skill to secure quiet
    to the nation. A system of measures to promote this object was
    adopted a few months ago in congress. The result of those
    measures is known. Instead of quiet, they have produced alarm;
    instead of peace, they have brought us war; and so it must ever
    be.

    While this nation is guilty of the enslavement of three millions
    of innocent men and women, it is as idle to think of having a
    sound and lasting peace, as it is to think there is no God to
    take cognizance of the affairs of men. There can be no peace to
    the wicked while slavery continues in the land. It will be
    condemned; and while it is condemned there will be agitation.
    Nature must cease to be nature; men must become monsters;
    humanity must be transformed; Christianity must be exterminated;
    all ideas of justice and the laws of eternal goodness must be
    utterly blotted out from the human soul--ere a system so foul and
    infernal can escape condemnation, or this guilty republic can
    have a sound, enduring peace.

    INHUMANITY OF SLAVERY

    _Extract from A Lecture on Slavery, at Rochester,
    December 8, 1850_

    The relation of master and slave has been called patriarchal, and
    only second in benignity and tenderness to that of the parent and
    child. This representation is doubtless believed by many
    northern people; and this may account, in part, for the lack of
    interest which we find among persons whom we are bound to believe
    to be honest and humane. What, then, are the facts? Here I will
    not quote my own experience in slavery; for this you might call
    one-sided testimony. I will not cite the declarations of
    abolitionists; for these you might pronounce exaggerations. I
    will not rely upon advertisements cut from newspapers; for these
    you might call isolated cases. But I will refer you to the laws
    adopted by the legislatures of the slave states. I give you such
    evidence, because it cannot be invalidated nor denied. I hold in
    my hand sundry extracts from the slave codes of our country, from
    which I will quote. * * *

    Now, if the foregoing be an indication of kindness, _what is
    cruelty_? If this be parental affection, _what is bitter
    malignity_? A more atrocious and blood-thirsty string of laws
    could not well be conceived of. And yet I am bound to say that
    they fall short of indicating the horrible cruelties constantly
    practiced in the slave states.

    I admit that there are individual slaveholders less cruel and
    barbarous than is allowed by law; but these form the exception.
    The majority of slaveholders find it necessary, to insure
    obedience, at times, to avail themselves of the utmost extent of
    the law, and many go beyond it. If kindness were the rule, we
    should not see advertisements filling the columns of almost every
    southern newspaper, offering large rewards for fugitive slaves,
    and describing them as being branded with irons, loaded with
    chains, and scarred by the whip. One of the most telling
    testimonies against the pretended kindness of slaveholders, is
    the fact that uncounted numbers of fugitives are now inhabiting
    the Dismal Swamp, preferring the untamed wilderness to their
    cultivated homes--choosing rather to encounter hunger and thirst,
    and to roam with the wild beasts of the forest, running the
    hazard of being hunted and shot down, than to submit to the
    authority of _kind_ masters.

    I tell you, my friends, humanity is never driven to such an
    unnatural course of life, without great wrong. The slave finds
    more of the milk of human kindness in the bosom of the savage
    Indian, than in the heart of his _Christian_ master. He leaves
    the man of the _bible_, and takes refuge with the man of the
    _tomahawk_. He rushes from the praying slaveholder into the paws
    of the bear. He quits the homes of men for the haunts of wolves.
    He prefers to encounter a life of trial, however bitter, or
    death, however terrible, to dragging out his existence under the
    dominion of these _kind_ masters.

    The apologists for slavery often speak of the abuses of slavery;
    and they tell us that they are as much opposed to those abuses as
    we are; and that they would go as far to correct those abuses and
    to ameliorate the condition of the slave as anybody. The answer
    to that view is, that slavery is itself an abuse; that it lives
    by abuse; and dies by the absence of abuse. Grant that slavery
    is right; grant that the relations of master and slave may
    innocently exist; and there is not a single outrage which was
    ever committed against the slave but what finds an apology in the
    very necessity of the case. As we said by a slaveholder (the
    Rev. A. G. Few) to the Methodist conference, "If the relation be
    right, the means to maintain it are also right;" for without
    those means slavery could not exist. Remove the dreadful
    scourge--the plaited thong--the galling fetter--the accursed
    chain--and let the slaveholder rely solely upon moral and
    religious power, by which to secure obedience to his orders, and
    how long do you suppose a slave would remain on his plantation?
    The case only needs to be stated; it carries its own refutation
    with it.

    Absolute and arbitrary power can never be maintained by one man
    over the body and soul of another man, without brutal
    chastisement and enormous cruelty.

    To talk of _kindness_ entering into a relation in which one party
    is robbed of wife, of children, of his hard earnings, of home, of
    friends, of society, of knowledge, and of all that makes this
    life desirable, is most absurd, wicked, and preposterous.

    I have shown that slavery is wicked--wicked, in that it violates
    the great law of liberty, written on every human heart--wicked,
    in that it violates the first command of the decalogue--wicked,
    in that it fosters the most disgusting licentiousness--wicked, in
    that it mars and defaces the image of God by cruel and
    barbarous inflictions--wicked, in that it contravenes the laws of
    eternal justice, and tramples in the dust all the humane and
    heavenly precepts of the New Testament.

    The evils resulting from this huge system of iniquity are not
    confined to the states south of Mason and Dixon's line. Its
    noxious influence can easily be traced throughout our northern
    borders. It comes even as far north as the state of New York.
    Traces of it may be seen even in Rochester; and travelers have
    told me it casts its gloomy shadows across the lake, approaching
    the very shores of Queen Victoria's dominions.

    The presence of slavery may be explained by--as it is the
    explanation of--the mobocratic violence which lately disgraced
    New York, and which still more recently disgraced the city of
    Boston. These violent demonstrations, these outrageous invasions
    of human rights, faintly indicate the presence and power of
    slavery here. It is a significant fact, that while meetings for
    almost any purpose under heaven may be held unmolested in the
    city of Boston, that in the same city, a meeting cannot be
    peaceably held for the purpose of preaching the doctrine of the
    American Declaration of Independence, "that all men are created
    equal." The pestiferous breath of slavery taints the whole moral
    atmosphere of the north, and enervates the moral energies of the
    whole people.

    The moment a foreigner ventures upon our soil, and utters a
    natural repugnance to oppression, that moment he is made to feel
    that there is little sympathy in this land for him. If he were
    greeted with smiles before, he meets with frowns now; and it
    shall go well with him if he be not subjected to that peculiarly
    fining method of showing fealty to slavery, the assaults of a
    mob.

    Now, will any man tell me that such a state of things is natural,
    and that such conduct on the part of the people of the north,
    springs from a consciousness of rectitude? No! every fibre of
    the human heart unites in detestation of tyranny, and it is only
    when the human mind has become familiarized with slavery, is
    accustomed to its injustice, and corrupted by its selfishness,
    that it fails to record its abhorrence of slavery, and does not
    exult in the triumphs of liberty.

    The northern people have been long connected with slavery; they
    have been linked to a decaying corpse, which has destroyed the
    moral health. The union of the government; the union of the
    north and south, in the political parties; the union in the
    religious organizations of the land, have all served to deaden
    the moral sense of the northern people, and to impregnate them
    with sentiments and ideas forever in conflict with what as a
    nation we call _genius of American institutions_. Rightly
    viewed, this is an alarming fact, and ought to rally all
    that is pure, just, and holy in one determined effort to crush
    the monster of corruption, and to scatter "its guilty profits" to
    the winds. In a high moral sense, as well as in a national
    sense, the whole American people are responsible for slavery, and
    must share, in its guilt and shame, with the most obdurate men-
    stealers of the south.

    While slavery exists, and the union of these states endures,
    every American citizen must bear the chagrin of hearing his
    country branded before the world as a nation of liars and
    hypocrites; and behold his cherished flag pointed at with the
    utmost scorn and derision. Even now an American _abroad_ is
    pointed out in the crowd, as coming from a land where men gain
    their fortunes by "the blood of souls," from a land of slave
    markets, of blood-hounds, and slave-hunters; and, in some
    circles, such a man is shunned altogether, as a moral pest. Is
    it not time, then, for every American to awake, and inquire into
    his duty with respect to this subject?

    Wendell Phillips--the eloquent New England orator--on his return
    from Europe, in 1842, said, "As I stood upon the shores of Genoa,
    and saw floating on the placid waters of the Mediterranean, the
    beautiful American war ship Ohio, with her masts tapering
    proportionately aloft, and an eastern sun reflecting her noble
    form upon the sparkling waters, attracting the gaze of the
    multitude, my first impulse was of pride, to think myself an
    American; but when I thought that the first time that gallant
    ship would gird on her gorgeous apparel, and wake from beneath
    her sides her dormant thunders, it would be in defense of the
    African slave trade, I blushed in utter _shame_ for my country."

    Let me say again, _slavery is alike the sin and the shame of the
    American people;_ it is a blot upon the American name, and the
    only national reproach which need make an American hang his head
    in shame, in the presence of monarchical governments.

    With this gigantic evil in the land, we are constantly told to
    look _at home;_ if we say ought against crowned heads, we are
    pointed to our enslaved millions; if we talk of sending
    missionaries and bibles abroad, we are pointed to three millions
    now lying in worse than heathen darkness; if we express a word of
    sympathy for Kossuth and his Hungarian fugitive brethren, we are
    pointed to that horrible and hell-black enactment, "the fugitive
    slave bill."

    Slavery blunts the edge of all our rebukes of tyranny abroad--the
    criticisms that we make upon other nations, only call forth
    ridicule, contempt, and scorn. In a word, we are made a reproach
    and a by-word to a mocking earth, and we must continue to be
    so made, so long as slavery continues to pollute our soil.

    We have heard much of late of the virtue of patriotism, the love
    of country, &c., and this sentiment, so natural and so strong,
    has been impiously appealed to, by all the powers of human
    selfishness, to cherish the viper which is stinging our national
    life away. In its name, we have been called upon to deepen our
    infamy before the world, to rivet the fetter more firmly on the
    limbs of the enslaved, and to become utterly insensible to the
    voice of human woe that is wafted to us on every southern gale.
    We have been called upon, in its name, to desecrate our whole
    land by the footprints of slave-hunters, and even to engage
    ourselves in the horrible business of kidnapping.

    I, too, would invoke the spirit of patriotism; not in a narrow
    and restricted sense, but, I trust, with a broad and manly
    signification; not to cover up our national sins, but to inspire
    us with sincere repentance; not to hide our shame from the
    the{sic} world's gaze, but utterly to abolish the cause of that
    shame; not to explain away our gross inconsistencies as a nation,
    but to remove the hateful, jarring, and incongruous elements from
    the land; not to sustain an egregious wrong, but to unite all our
    energies in the grand effort to remedy that wrong.

    I would invoke the spirit of patriotism, in the name of the law
    of the living God, natural and revealed, and in the full belief
    that "righteousness exalteth a nation, while sin is a reproach to
    any people." "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh
    uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that
    shaketh his hands from the holding of bribes, he shall dwell on
    high, his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks, bread
    shall be given him, his water shall be sure."

    We have not only heard much lately of patriotism, and of its aid
    being invoked on the side of slavery and injustice, but the very
    prosperity of this people has been called in to deafen them to
    the voice of duty, and to lead them onward in the pathway of sin.
    Thus has the blessing of God been converted into a curse. In the
    spirit of genuine patriotism, I warn the American people, by all
    that is just and honorable, to BEWARE!

    I warn them that, strong, proud, and prosperous though we be,
    there is a power above us that can "bring down high looks; at the
    breath of whose mouth our wealth may take wings; and before whom
    every knee shall bow;" and who can tell how soon the avenging
    angel may pass over our land, and the sable bondmen now in
    chains, may become the instruments of our nation's chastisement!
    Without appealing to any higher feeling, I would warn the
    American people, and the American government, to be wise in
    their day and generation. I exhort them to remember the history
    of other nations; and I remind them that America cannot always
    sit "as a queen," in peace and repose; that prouder and stronger
    governments than this have been shattered by the bolts of a just
    God; that the time may come when those they now despise and hate,
    may be needed; when those whom they now compel by oppression to
    be enemies, may be wanted as friends. What has been, may be
    again. There is a point beyond which human endurance cannot go.
    The crushed worm may yet turn under the heel of the oppressor. I
    warn them, then, with all solemnity, and in the name of
    retributive justice, _to look to their ways;_ for in an evil
    hour, those sable arms that have, for the last two centuries,
    been engaged in cultivating and adorning the fair fields of our
    country, may yet become the instruments of terror, desolation,
    and death, throughout our borders.

    It was the sage of the Old Dominion that said--while speaking of
    the possibility of a conflict between the slaves and the
    slaveholders--"God has no attribute that could take sides with
    the oppressor in such a contest. I tremble for my country when I
    reflect that God _is just_, and that his justice cannot sleep
    forever." Such is the warning voice of Thomas Jefferson; and
    every day's experience since its utterance until now, confirms
    its wisdom, and commends its truth.

    WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS THE
    FOURTH OF JULY?

    _Extract from an Oration, at Rochester, July 5, 1852_

    Fellow-Citizens--Pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called
    upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to
    do with your national independence? Are the great principles of
    political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that
    Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore,
    called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar,
    and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the
    blessings, resulting from your independence to us?

    Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative
    answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then
    would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For
    who is there so cold that a nation's sympathy could not warm him?
    Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would
    not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so
    stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the
    hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude
    had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like
    that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as
    an hart."

    But, such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad
    sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the
    pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only
    reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in
    which you this day rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich
    inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence,
    bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The
    sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought
    stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is _yours_, not
    mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters
    into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon
    him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and
    sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking
    me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct.
    And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a
    nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by
    the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable
    ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and
    woe-smitten people.

    "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when
    we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the
    midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive,
    required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us
    mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing
    the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O
    Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not
    remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."

    Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultous joy, I hear the
    mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous
    yesterday, are to-day rendered more intolerable by the jubilant
    shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully
    remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, "may my
    right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the
    roof of my mouth!" To forget them, to pass lightly over their
    wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason
    most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before
    God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is
    AMERICAN SLAVERY. I shall see this day and its popular
    characteristics from the slave's point of view. Standing there,
    identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I
    do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character
    and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on
    this Fourth of July. Whether we turn to the declarations of the
    past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the
    nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to
    the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be
    false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and
    bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity
    which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in
    the name of the constitution and the bible, which are disregarded
    and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with
    all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to
    perpetuate slavery--the great sin and shame of America! "I will
    not equivocate; I will not excuse;" I will use the severest
    language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that
    any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is
    not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and
    just.

    But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, it is just in
    this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to
    make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue
    more, and denounce less, would you persuade more and rebuke less,
    your cause would be much more likely to succeed. But, I submit,
    where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in
    the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch
    of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I
    undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is
    conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves
    acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government.
    They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of
    the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the state of
    Virginia, which, if committed by a black man (no matter how
    ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while
    only two of these same crimes will subject a white man to the
    like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgement that the
    slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being. The
    manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact
    that southern statute books are covered with enactments
    forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the
    slave to read or write. When you can point to any such laws, in
    reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue
    the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when
    the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the
    fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to
    distinguish the slave from a brute, then will I argue with you
    that the slave is a man!

    For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the
    Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are plowing,
    planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools,
    erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in
    metals of brass, iron, copper, silver, and gold; that, while we
    are reading, writing, and cyphering, acting as clerks, merchants,
    and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers,
    poets, authors, editors, orators, and teachers; that, while we
    are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men--
    digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific,
    feeding sheep and cattle on the hillside, living, moving, acting,
    thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives, and
    children, and, above all, confessing and worshiping the
    Christian's God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality
    beyond the grave--we are called upon to prove that we are men!

    Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he
    is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared
    it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a
    question for republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules
    of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great
    difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of
    justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day in the
    presence of Americans, dividing and subdividing a discourse, to
    show that men have a natural right to freedom, speaking of it
    relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively? To do
    so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to
    your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of
    heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for _him_.

    What! am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob
    them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them
    ignorant of their relations to their fellow-men, to beat them
    with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their
    limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at
    auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to
    burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to
    their masters? Must I argue that a system, thus marked with
    blood and stained with pollution, is wrong? No; I will not. I
    have better employment for my time and strength than such
    arguments would imply.

    What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not
    divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of
    divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That
    which is inhuman cannot be divine. Who can reason on such a
    proposition! They that can, may! I cannot. The time for such
    argument is past.

    At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is
    needed. Oh! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation's
    ear, I would to-day pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule,
    blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it
    is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle
    shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the
    earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the
    conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the
    nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be
    exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed
    and denounced.

    What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a
    day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year,
    the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant
    victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted
    liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling
    vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your
    denunciations of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of
    liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns,
    your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade
    and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception,
    impiety, and hypocrisy--a thin veil to cover up crimes which
    would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the
    earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody, than are the
    people of these United States, at this very hour.

    Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the
    monarchies and despotisms of the old world, travel through South
    America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the
    last, lay your facts by the side of the every-day practices of
    this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting
    barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a
    rival.

    THE INTERNAL SLAVE TRADE.

    _Extract from an Oration, at Rochester, July 5, 1852_

    Take the American slave trade, which, we are told by the papers,
    is especially prosperous just now. Ex-senator Benton tells us
    that the price of men was never higher than now. He mentions the
    fact to show that slavery is in no danger. This trade is one of
    the peculiarities of American institutions. It is carried on in
    all the large towns and cities in one-half of this confederacy;
    and millions are pocketed every year by dealers in this horrid
    traffic. In several states this trade is a chief source of
    wealth. It is called (in contradistinction to the foreign slave
    trade) _"the internal slave trade_." It is, probably, called so,
    too, in order to divert from it the horror with which the foreign
    slave trade is contemplated. That trade has long since been
    denounced by this government as piracy. It has been denounced
    with burning words, from the high places of the nation, as an
    execrable traffic. To arrest it, to put an end to it, this
    nation keeps a squadron, at immense cost, on the coast of Africa.
    Everywhere in this country, it is safe to speak of this foreign
    slave trade as a most inhuman traffic, opposed alike to the laws
    of God and of man. The duty to extirpate and destroy it is
    admitted even by our _doctors of divinity_. In order to put an
    end to it, some of these last have consented that their colored
    brethren (nominally free) should leave this country, and
    establish themselves on the western coast of Africa. It is,
    however, a notable fact, that, while so much execration is poured
    out by Americans, upon those engaged in the foreign slave trade,
    the men engaged in the slave trade between the states pass
    without condemnation, and their business is deemed honorable.

    Behold the practical operation of this internal slave trade--the
    American slave trade sustained by American politics and American
    religion! Here you will see men and women reared like swine for
    the market. You know what is a swine-drover? I will show you a
    man-drover. They inhabit all our southern states. They
    perambulate the country, and crowd the highways of the
    nation with droves of human stock. You will see one of these
    human-flesh-jobbers, armed with pistol, whip, and bowie-knife,
    driving a company of a hundred men, women, and children, from the
    Potomac to the slave market at New Orleans. These wretched
    people are to be sold singly, or in lots, to suit purchasers.
    They are food for the cotton-field and the deadly sugar-mill.
    Mark the sad procession as it moves wearily along, and the
    inhuman wretch who drives them. Hear his savage yells and his
    blood-chilling oaths, as he hurries on his affrighted captives.
    There, see the old man, with locks thinned and gray. Cast one
    glance, if you please, upon that young mother, whose shoulders
    are bare to the scorching sun, her briny tears falling on the
    brow of the babe in her arms. See, too, that girl of thirteen,
    weeping, yes, weeping, as she thinks of the mother from whom she
    has been torn. The drove moves tardily. Heat and sorrow have
    nearly consumed their strength. Suddenly you hear a quick snap,
    like the discharge of a rifle; the fetters clank, and the chain
    rattles simultaneously; your ears are saluted with a scream that
    seems to have torn its way to the center of your soul. The crack
    you heard was the sound of the slave whip; the scream you heard
    was from the woman you saw with the babe. Her speed had faltered
    under the weight of her child and her chains; that gash on her
    shoulder tells her to move on. Follow this drove to New Orleans.
    Attend the auction; see men examined like horses; see the forms
    of women rudely and brutally exposed to the shocking gaze of
    American slave-buyers. See this drove sold and separated
    forever; and never forget the deep, sad sobs that arose from that
    scattered multitude. Tell me, citizens, where, under the sun,
    can you witness a spectacle more fiendish and shocking. Yet this
    is but a glance at the American slave trade, as it exists at this
    moment, in the ruling part of the United States.

    I was born amid such sights and scenes. To me the American slave
    trade is a terrible reality. When a child, my soul was often
    pierced with a sense of its horrors. I lived on Philpot street,
    Fell's Point, Baltimore, and have watched from the wharves the
    slave ships in the basin, anchored from the shore, with their
    cargoes of human flesh, waiting for favorable winds to waft them
    down the Chesapeake. There was, at that time, a grand slave mart
    kept at the head of Pratt street, by Austin Woldfolk. His agents
    were sent into every town and county in Maryland, announcing
    their arrival through the papers, and on flaming hand-bills,
    headed, "cash for negroes." These men were generally well
    dressed, and very captivating in their manners; ever ready to
    drink, to treat, and to gamble. The fate of many a slave
    has depended upon the turn of a single card; and many a child has
    been snatched from the arms of its mothers by bargains arranged
    in a state of brutal drunkenness.

    The flesh-mongers gather up their victims by dozens, and drive
    them, chained, to the general depot at Baltimore. When a
    sufficient number have been collected here, a ship is chartered,
    for the purpose of conveying the forlorn crew to Mobile or to New
    Orleans. From the slave-prison to the ship, they are usually
    driven in the darkness of night; for since the anti-slavery
    agitation a certain caution is observed.

    In the deep, still darkness of midnight, I have been often
    aroused by the dead, heavy footsteps and the piteous cries of the
    chained gangs that passed our door. The anguish of my boyish
    heart was intense; and I was often consoled, when speaking to my
    mistress in the morning, to hear her say that the custom was very
    wicked; that she hated to hear the rattle of the chains, and the
    heart-rending cries. I was glad to find one who sympathized with
    me in my horror.

    Fellow citizens, this murderous traffic is to-day in active
    operation in this boasted republic. In the solitude of my
    spirit, I see clouds of dust raised on the highways of the south;
    I see the bleeding footsteps; I hear the doleful wail of fettered
    humanity, on the way to the slave markets, where the victims are
    to be sold like horses, sheep, and swine, knocked off to the
    highest bidder. There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly
    broken, to gratify the lust, caprice, and rapacity of the buyers
    and sellers of men. My soul sickens at the sight.

    _Is this the land your fathers loved?
    The freedom which they toiled to win?
    Is this the earth whereon they moved?
    Are these the graves they slumber in?_

    But a still more inhuman, disgraceful, and scandalous state of
    things remains to be presented. By an act of the American
    congress, not yet two years old, slavery has been nationalized in
    its most horrible and revolting form. By that act, Mason and
    Dixon's line has been obliterated; New York has become as
    Virginia; and the power to hold, hunt, and sell men, women, and
    children as slaves, remains no longer a mere state institution,
    but is now an institution of the whole United States. The power
    is coextensive with the star-spangled banner and American
    christianity. Where these go, may also go the merciless slave-
    hunter. Where these are, man is not sacred. He is a bird for
    the sportsman's gun. By that most foul and fiendish of all human
    decrees, the liberty and person of every man are put in
    peril. Your broad republican domain is a hunting-ground for
    _men_. Not for thieves and robbers, enemies of society, merely,
    but for men guilty of no crime. Your law-makers have commanded
    all good citizens to engage in this hellish sport. Your
    president, your secretary of state, your lords, nobles, and
    ecclesiastics, enforce as a duty you owe to your free and
    glorious country and to your God, that you do this accursed
    thing. Not fewer than forty Americans have within the past two
    years been hunted down, and without a moment's warning, hurried
    away in chains, and consigned to slavery and excruciating
    torture. Some of these have had wives and children dependent on
    them for bread; but of this no account was made. The right of
    the hunter to his prey, stands superior to the right of marriage,
    and to _all_ rights in this republic, the rights of God included!
    For black men there are neither law, justice, humanity, nor
    religion. The fugitive slave law makes MERCY TO THEM A CRIME;
    and bribes the judge who tries them. An American judge GETS TEN
    DOLLARS FOR EVERY VICTIM HE CONSIGNS to slavery, and five, when
    he fails to do so. The oath of an{sic} two villains is
    sufficient, under this hell-black enactment, to send the most
    pious and exemplary black man into the remorseless jaws of
    slavery! His own testimony is nothing. He can bring no
    witnesses for himself. The minister of American justice is bound
    by the law to hear but _one side_, and that side is the side of
    the oppressor. Let this damning fact be perpetually told. Let
    it be thundered around the world, that, in tyrant-killing, king
    hating, people-loving, democratic, Christian America, the seats
    of justice are filled with judges, who hold their office under an
    open and palpable _bribe_, and are bound, in deciding in the case
    of a man's liberty, _to hear only his accusers!_

    In glaring violation of justice, in shameless disregard of the
    forms of administering law, in cunning arrangement to entrap the
    defenseless, and in diabolical intent, this fugitive slave law
    stands alone in the annals of tyrannical legislation. I doubt if
    there be another nation on the globe having the brass and the
    baseness to put such a law on the statute-book. If any man in
    this assembly thinks differently from me in this matter, and
    feels able to disprove my statements, I will gladly confront him
    at any suitable time and place he may select.

    THE SLAVERY PARTY

    _Extract from a Speech Delivered before the A. A. S. Society, in
    New York, May, 1853_

    Sir, it is evident that there is in this country a purely slavery
    party--a party which exists for no other earthly purpose but to
    promote the interests of slavery. The presence of this party is
    felt everywhere in the republic. It is known by no particular
    name, and has assumed no definite shape; but its branches reach
    far and wide in the church and in the state. This shapeless and
    nameless party is not intangible in other and more important
    respects. That party, sir, has determined upon a fixed,
    definite, and comprehensive policy toward the whole colored
    population of the United States. What that policy is, it becomes
    us as abolitionists, and especially does it become the colored
    people themselves, to consider and to understand fully. We ought
    to know who our enemies are, where they are, and what are their
    objects and measures. Well, sir, here is my version of it--not
    original with me--but mine because I hold it to be true.

    I understand this policy to comprehend five cardinal objects.
    They are these: 1st. The complete suppression of all anti-slavery
    discussion. 2d. The expatriation of the entire free people of
    color from the United States. 3d. The unending perpetuation of
    slavery in this republic. 4th. The nationalization of slavery to
    the extent of making slavery respected in every state of the
    Union. 5th. The extension of slavery over Mexico and the entire
    South American states.

    Sir, these objects are forcibly presented to us in the stern
    logic of passing events; in the facts which are and have been
    passing around us during the last three years. The country has
    been and is now dividing on these grand issues. In their
    magnitude, these issues cast all others into the shade, depriving
    them of all life and vitality. Old party ties are broken. Like
    is finding its like on either side of these great issues, and the
    great battle is at hand. For the present, the best
    representative of the slavery party in politics is the democratic
    party. Its great head for the present is President Pierce,
    whose boast it was, before his election, that his whole life had
    been consistent with the interests of slavery, that he is above
    reproach on that score. In his inaugural address, he reassures
    the south on this point. Well, the head of the slave power being
    in power, it is natural that the pro slavery elements should
    cluster around the administration, and this is rapidly being
    done. A fraternization is going on. The stringent
    protectionists and the free-traders strike hands. The supporters
    of Fillmore are becoming the supporters of Pierce. The silver-
    gray whig shakes hands with the hunker democrat; the former only
    differing from the latter in name. They are of one heart, one
    mind, and the union is natural and perhaps inevitable. Both hate
    Negroes; both hate progress; both hate the "higher law;" both
    hate William H. Seward; both hate the free democratic party; and
    upon this hateful basis they are forming a union of hatred.
    "Pilate and Herod are thus made friends." Even the central organ
    of the whig party is extending its beggar hand for a morsel from
    the table of slavery democracy, and when spurned from the feast
    by the more deserving, it pockets the insult; when kicked on one
    side it turns the other, and preseveres in its importunities.
    The fact is, that paper comprehends the demands of the times; it
    understands the age and its issues; it wisely sees that slavery
    and freedom are the great antagonistic forces in the country, and
    it goes to its own side. Silver grays and hunkers all understand
    this. They are, therefore, rapidly sinking all other questions
    to nothing, compared with the increasing demands of slavery.
    They are collecting, arranging, and consolidating their forces
    for the accomplishment of their appointed work.

    The keystone to the arch of this grand union of the slavery party
    of the United States, is the compromise of 1850. In that
    compromise we have all the objects of our slaveholding policy
    specified. It is, sir, favorable to this view of the designs of
    the slave power, that both the whig and the democratic party bent
    lower, sunk deeper, and strained harder, in their conventions,
    preparatory to the late presidential election, to meet the
    demands of the slavery party than at any previous time in their
    history. Never did parties come before the northern people with
    propositions of such undisguised contempt for the moral sentiment
    and the religious ideas of that people. They virtually asked
    them to unite in a war upon free speech, and upon conscience, and
    to drive the Almighty presence from the councils of the nation.
    Resting their platforms upon the fugitive slave bill, they boldly
    asked the people for political power to execute the horrible and
    hell-black provisions of that bill. The history of that election
    reveals, with great clearness, the extent to which slavery
    has shot its leprous distillment through the life-blood of the
    nation. The party most thoroughly opposed to the cause of
    justice and humanity, triumphed; while the party suspected of a
    leaning toward liberty, was overwhelmingly defeated, some say
    annihilated.

    But here is a still more important fact, illustrating the designs
    of the slave power. It is a fact full of meaning, that no sooner
    did the democratic slavery party come into power, than a system
    of legislation was presented to the legislatures of the northern
    states, designed to put the states in harmony with the fugitive
    slave law, and the malignant bearing of the national government
    toward the colored inhabitants of the country. This whole
    movement on the part of the states, bears the evidence of having
    one origin, emanating from one head, and urged forward by one
    power. It was simultaneous, uniform, and general, and looked to
    one end. It was intended to put thorns under feet already
    bleeding; to crush a people already bowed down; to enslave a
    people already but half free; in a word, it was intended to
    discourage, dishearten, and drive the free colored people out of
    the country. In looking at the recent black law of Illinois, one
    is struck dumb with its enormity. It would seem that the men who
    enacted that law, had not only banished from their minds all
    sense of justice, but all sense of shame. It coolly proposes to
    sell the bodies and souls of the blacks to increase the
    intelligence and refinement of the whites; to rob every black
    stranger who ventures among them, to increase their literary
    fund.

    While this is going on in the states, a pro-slavery, political
    board of health is established at Washington. Senators Hale,
    Chase, and Sumner are robbed of a part of their senatorial
    dignity and consequence as representing sovereign states, because
    they have refused to be inoculated with the slavery virus. Among
    the services which a senator is expected by his state to perform,
    are many that can only be done efficiently on committees; and, in
    saying to these honorable senators, you shall not serve on the
    committees of this body, the slavery party took the
    responsibility of robbing and insulting the states that sent
    them. It is an attempt at Washington to decide for the states
    who shall be sent to the senate. Sir, it strikes me that this
    aggression on the part of the slave power did not meet at the
    hands of the proscribed senators the rebuke which we had a right
    to expect would be administered. It seems to me that an
    opportunity was lost, that the great principle of senatorial
    equality was left undefended, at a time when its vindication was
    sternly demanded. But it is not to the purpose of my present
    statement to criticise the conduct of our friends. I am
    persuaded that much ought to be left to the discretion of
    anti slavery men in congress, and charges of recreancy
    should never be made but on the most sufficient grounds. For, of
    all the places in the world where an anti-slavery man needs the
    confidence and encouragement of friends, I take Washington to be
    that place.

    Let me now call attention to the social influences which are
    operating and cooperating with the slavery party of the country,
    designed to contribute to one or all of the grand objects aimed
    at by that party. We see here the black man attacked in his
    vital interests; prejudice and hate are excited against him;
    enmity is stirred up between him and other laborers. The Irish
    people, warm-hearted, generous, and sympathizing with the
    oppressed everywhere, when they stand upon their own green
    island, are instantly taught, on arriving in this Christian
    country, to hate and despise the colored people. They are taught
    to believe that we eat the bread which of right belongs to them.
    The cruel lie is told the Irish, that our adversity is essential
    to their prosperity. Sir, the Irish-American will find out his
    mistake one day. He will find that in assuming our avocation he
    also has assumed our degradation. But for the present we are
    sufferers. The old employments by which we have heretofore
    gained our livelihood, are gradually, and it may be inevitably,
    passing into other hands. Every hour sees us elbowed out of some
    employment to make room perhaps for some newly-arrived emigrants,
    whose hunger and color are thought to give them a title to
    especial favor. White men are becoming house-servants, cooks,
    and stewards, common laborers, and flunkeys to our gentry, and,
    for aught I see, they adjust themselves to their stations with
    all becoming obsequiousness. This fact proves that if we cannot
    rise to the whites, the whites can fall to us. Now, sir, look
    once more. While the colored people are thus elbowed out of
    employment; while the enmity of emigrants is being excited
    against us; while state after state enacts laws against us; while
    we are hunted down, like wild game, and oppressed with a general
    feeling of insecurity--the American colonization society--that
    old offender against the best interests and slanderer of the
    colored people--awakens to new life, and vigorously presses its
    scheme upon the consideration of the people and the government.
    New papers are started--some for the north and some for the
    south--and each in its tone adapting itself to its latitude.
    Government, state and national, is called upon for appropriations
    to enable the society to send us out of the country by steam!
    They want steamers to carry letters and Negroes to Africa.
    Evidently, this society looks upon our "extremity as its
    opportunity," and we may expect that it will use the occasion
    well. They do not deplore, but glory, in our misfortunes.

    But, sir, I must hasten. I have thus briefly given my view of
    one aspect of the present condition and future prospects of the
    colored people of the United States. And what I have said is far
    from encouraging to my afflicted people. I have seen the cloud
    gather upon the sable brows of some who hear me. I confess the
    case looks black enough. Sir, I am not a hopeful man. I think I
    am apt even to undercalculate the benefits of the future. Yet,
    sir, in this seemingly desperate case, I do not despair for my
    people. There is a bright side to almost every picture of this
    kind; and ours is no exception to the general rule. If the
    influences against us are strong, those for us are also strong.
    To the inquiry, will our enemies prevail in the execution of
    their designs. In my God and in my soul, I believe they _will
    not_. Let us look at the first object sought for by the slavery
    party of the country, viz: the suppression of anti slavery
    discussion. They desire to suppress discussion on this subject,
    with a view to the peace of the slaveholder and the security of
    slavery. Now, sir, neither the principle nor the subordinate
    objects here declared, can be at all gained by the slave power,
    and for this reason: It involves the proposition to padlock the
    lips of the whites, in order to secure the fetters on the limbs
    of the blacks. The right of speech, precious and priceless,
    _cannot, will not_, be surrendered to slavery. Its suppression
    is asked for, as I have said, to give peace and security to
    slaveholders. Sir, that thing cannot be done. God has
    interposed an insuperable obstacle to any such result. "There
    can be _no peace_, saith my God, to the wicked." Suppose it were
    possible to put down this discussion, what would it avail the
    guilty slaveholder, pillowed as he is upon heaving bosoms of
    ruined souls? He could not have a peaceful spirit. If every
    anti-slavery tongue in the nation were silent--every anti-slavery
    organization dissolved--every anti-slavery press demolished--
    every anti slavery periodical, paper, book, pamphlet, or what
    not, were searched out, gathered, deliberately burned to ashes,
    and their ashes given to the four winds of heaven, still, still
    the slaveholder could have _"no peace_." In every pulsation of
    his heart, in every throb of his life, in every glance of his
    eye, in the breeze that soothes, and in the thunder that
    startles, would be waked up an accuser, whose cause is, "Thou
    art, verily, guilty concerning thy brother."

    THE ANTI-SLAVERY MOVEMENT

    _Extracts from a Lecture before Various Anti-Slavery Bodies, in
    the Winter of 1855_

    A grand movement on the part of mankind, in any direction, or for
    any purpose, moral or political, is an interesting fact, fit and
    proper to be studied. It is such, not only for those who eagerly
    participate in it, but also for those who stand aloof from it--
    even for those by whom it is opposed. I take the anti-slavery
    movement to be such an one, and a movement as sublime and
    glorious in its character, as it is holy and beneficent in the
    ends it aims to accomplish. At this moment, I deem it safe to
    say, it is properly engrossing more minds in this country than
    any other subject now before the American people. The late John
    C. Calhoun--one of the mightiest men that ever stood up in the
    American senate--did not deem it beneath him; and he probably
    studied it as deeply, though not as honestly, as Gerrit Smith, or
    William Lloyd Garrison. He evinced the greatest familiarity with
    the subject; and the greatest efforts of his last years in the
    senate had direct reference to this movement. His eagle eye
    watched every new development connected with it; and he was ever
    prompt to inform the south of every important step in its
    progress. He never allowed himself to make light of it; but
    always spoke of it and treated it as a matter of grave import;
    and in this he showed himself a master of the mental, moral, and
    religious constitution of human society. Daniel Webster, too, in
    the better days of his life, before he gave his assent to the
    fugitive slave bill, and trampled upon all his earlier and better
    convictions--when his eye was yet single--he clearly comprehended
    the nature of the elements involved in this movement; and in his
    own majestic eloquence, warned the south, and the country, to
    have a care how they attempted to put it down. He is an
    illustration that it is easier to give, than to take, good
    advice. To these two men--the greatest men to whom the nation
    has yet given birth--may be traced the two great facts of the
    present--the south triumphant, and the north humbled. Their
    names may stand thus--Calhoun and domination--Webster and
    degradation. Yet again. If to the enemies of liberty this
    subject is one of engrossing interest, vastly more so should it
    be such to freedom's friends. The latter, it leads to the gates
    of all valuable knowledge--philanthropic, ethical, and religious;
    for it brings them to the study of man, wonderfully and fearfully
    made--the proper study of man through all time--the open book, in
    which are the records of time and eternity.

    Of the existence and power of the anti-slavery movement, as a
    fact, you need no evidence. The nation has seen its face, and
    felt the controlling pressure of its hand. You have seen it
    moving in all directions, and in all weathers, and in all places,
    appearing most where desired least, and pressing hardest where
    most resisted. No place is exempt. The quiet prayer meeting,
    and the stormy halls of national debate, share its presence
    alike. It is a common intruder, and of course has the name of
    being ungentlemanly. Brethren who had long sung, in the most
    affectionate fervor, and with the greatest sense of security,

    _Together let us sweetly live--together let us die,_

    have been suddenly and violently separated by it, and ranged in
    hostile attitude toward each other. The Methodist, one of the
    most powerful religious organizations of this country, has been
    rent asunder, and its strongest bolts of denominational
    brotherhood started at a single surge. It has changed the tone
    of the northern pulpit, and modified that of the press. A
    celebrated divine, who, four years ago, was for flinging his own
    mother, or brother, into the remorseless jaws of the monster
    slavery, lest he should swallow up the Union, now recognizes
    anti-slavery as a characteristic of future civilization. Signs
    and wonders follow this movement; and the fact just stated is one
    of them. Party ties are loosened by it; and men are compelled to
    take sides for or against it, whether they will or not. Come
    from where he may, or come for what he may, he is compelled to
    show his hand. What is this mighty force? What is its history?
    and what is its destiny? Is it ancient or modern, transient or
    permanent? Has it turned aside, like a stranger and a sojourner,
    to tarry for a night? or has it come to rest with us forever?
    Excellent chances are here for speculation; and some of them are
    quite profound. We might, for instance, proceed to inquire not
    only into the philosophy of the anti-slavery movement, but into
    the philosophy of the law, in obedience to which that movement
    started into existence. We might demand to know what is that law
    or power, which, at different times, disposes the minds of men to
    this or that particular object--now for peace, and now for war--
    now for freedom, and now for slavery; but this profound
    question I leave to the abolitionists of the superior class to
    answer. The speculations which must precede such answer, would
    afford, perhaps, about the same satisfaction as the learned
    theories which have rained down upon the world, from time to
    time, as to the origin of evil. I shall, therefore, avoid water
    in which I cannot swim, and deal with anti-slavery as a fact,
    like any other fact in the history of mankind, capable of being
    described and understood, both as to its internal forces, and its
    external phases and relations.

    [After an eloquent, a full, and highly interesting exposition of
    the nature, character, and history of the anti-slavery movement,
    from the insertion of which want of space precludes us, he
    concluded in the following happy manner.]

    Present organizations may perish, but the cause will go on. That
    cause has a life, distinct and independent of the organizations
    patched up from time to time to carry it forward. Looked at,
    apart from the bones and sinews and body, it is a thing immortal.
    It is the very essence of justice, liberty, and love. The moral
    life of human society, it cannot die while conscience, honor, and
    humanity remain. If but one be filled with it, the cause lives.
    Its incarnation in any one individual man, leaves the whole world
    a priesthood, occupying the highest moral eminence even that of
    disinterested benevolence. Whoso has ascended his height, and
    has the grace to stand there, has the world at his feet, and is
    the world's teacher, as of divine right. He may set in judgment
    on the age, upon the civilization of the age, and upon the
    religion of the age; for he has a test, a sure and certain test,
    by which to try all institutions, and to measure all men. I say,
    he may do this, but this is not the chief business for which he
    is qualified. The great work to which he is called is not that
    of judgment. Like the Prince of Peace, he may say, if I judge, I
    judge righteous judgment; still mainly, like him, he may say,
    this is not his work. The man who has thoroughly embraced the
    principles of justice, love, and liberty, like the true preacher
    of Christianity, is less anxious to reproach the world of its
    sins, than to win it to repentance. His great work on earth is
    to exemplify, and to illustrate, and to ingraft those principles
    upon the living and practical understandings of all men within
    the reach of his influence. This is his work; long or short his
    years, many or few his adherents, powerful or weak his
    instrumentalities, through good report, or through bad report,
    this is his work. It is to snatch from the bosom of nature the
    latent facts of each individual man's experience, and with steady
    hand to hold them up fresh and glowing, enforeing, with all his
    power, their acknowledgment and practical adoption. If there be
    but _one_ such man in the land, no matter what becomes of
    abolition societies and parties, there will be an anti-slavery
    cause, and an anti-slavery movement. Fortunately for that cause,
    and fortunately for him by whom it is espoused, it requires no
    extraordinary amount of talent to preach it or to receive it when
    preached. The grand secret of its power is, that each of its
    principles is easily rendered appreciable to the faculty of
    reason in man, and that the most unenlightened conscience has no
    difficulty in deciding on which side to register its testimony.
    It can call its preachers from among the fishermen, and raise
    them to power. In every human breast, it has an advocate which
    can be silent only when the heart is dead. It comes home to
    every man's understanding, and appeals directly to every man's
    conscience. A man that does not recognize and approve for
    himself the rights and privileges contended for, in behalf of the
    American slave, has not yet been found. In whatever else men may
    differ, they are alike in the apprehension of their natural and
    personal rights. The difference between abolitionists and those
    by whom they are opposed, is not as to principles. All are
    agreed in respect to these. The manner of applying them is the
    point of difference.

    The slaveholder himself, the daily robber of his equal brother,
    discourses eloquently as to the excellency of justice, and the
    man who employs a brutal driver to flay the flesh of his negroes,
    is not offended when kindness and humanity are commended. Every
    time the abolitionist speaks of justice, the anti-abolitionist
    assents says, yes, I wish the world were filled with a
    disposition to render to every man what is rightfully due him; I
    should then get what is due me. That's right; let us have
    justice. By all means, let us have justice. Every time the
    abolitionist speaks in honor of human liberty, he touches a chord
    in the heart of the anti-abolitionist, which responds in
    harmonious vibrations. Liberty--yes, that is evidently my right,
    and let him beware who attempts to invade or abridge that right.
    Every time he speaks of love, of human brotherhood, and the
    reciprocal duties of man and man, the anti-abolitionist assents--
    says, yes, all right--all true--we cannot have such ideas too
    often, or too fully expressed. So he says, and so he feels, and
    only shows thereby that he is a man as well as an anti-
    abolitionist. You have only to keep out of sight the manner of
    applying your principles, to get them endorsed every time.
    Contemplating himself, he sees truth with absolute clearness and
    distinctness. He only blunders when asked to lose sight of
    himself. In his own cause he can beat a Boston lawyer, but he is
    dumb when asked to plead the cause of others. He knows very well
    whatsoever he would have done unto himself, but is quite in doubt
    as to having the same thing done unto others. It is just
    here, that lions spring up in the path of duty, and the battle
    once fought in heaven is refought on the earth. So it is, so
    hath it ever been, and so must it ever be, when the claims of
    justice and mercy make their demand at the door of human
    selfishness. Nevertheless, there is that within which ever
    pleads for the right and the just.

    In conclusion, I have taken a sober view of the present anti-
    slavery movement. I am sober, but not hopeless. There is no
    denying, for it is everywhere admitted, that the anti-slavery
    question is the great moral and social question now before the
    American people. A state of things has gradually been developed,
    by which that question has become the first thing in order. It
    must be met. Herein is my hope. The great idea of impartial
    liberty is now fairly before the American people. Anti-slavery
    is no longer a thing to be prevented. The time for prevention is
    past. This is great gain. When the movement was younger and
    weaker--when it wrought in a Boston garret to human apprehension,
    it might have been silently put out of the way. Things are
    different now. It has grown too large--its friends are too
    numerous--its facilities too abundant--its ramifications too
    extended--its power too omnipotent, to be snuffed out by the
    contingencies of infancy. A thousand strong men might be struck
    down, and its ranks still be invincible. One flash from the
    heart-supplied intellect of Harriet Beecher Stowe could light a
    million camp fires in front of the embattled host of slavery,
    which not all the waters of the Mississippi, mingled as they are
    with blood, could extinguish. The present will be looked to by
    after coming generations, as the age of anti-slavery literature--
    when supply on the gallop could not keep pace with the ever
    growing demand--when a picture of a Negro on the cover was a help
    to the sale of a book--when conservative lyceums and other
    American literary associations began first to select their
    orators for distinguished occasions from the ranks of the
    previously despised abolitionists. If the anti-slavery movement
    shall fail now, it will not be from outward opposition, but from
    inward decay. Its auxiliaries are everywhere. Scholars,
    authors, orators, poets, and statesmen give it their aid. The
    most brilliant of American poets volunteer in its service.
    Whittier speaks in burning verse to more than thirty thousand, in
    the National Era. Your own Longfellow whispers, in every hour of
    trial and disappointment, "labor and wait." James Russell Lowell
    is reminding us that "men are more than institutions." Pierpont
    cheers the heart of the pilgrim in search of liberty, by singing
    the praises of "the north star." Bryant, too, is with us; and
    though chained to the car of party, and dragged on amidst a whirl
    of political excitement, he snatches a moment for letting
    drop a smiling verse of sympathy for the man in chains. The
    poets are with us. It would seem almost absurd to say it,
    considering the use that has been made of them, that we have
    allies in the Ethiopian songs; those songs that constitute our
    national music, and without which we have no national music.
    They are heart songs, and the finest feelings of human nature are
    expressed in them. "Lucy Neal," "Old Kentucky Home," and "Uncle
    Ned," can make the heart sad as well as merry, and can call forth
    a tear as well as a smile. They awaken the sympathies for the
    slave, in which antislavery principles take root, grow, and
    flourish. In addition to authors, poets, and scholars at home,
    the moral sense of the civilized world is with us. England,
    France, and Germany, the three great lights of modern
    civilization, are with us, and every American traveler learns to
    regret the existence of slavery in his country. The growth of
    intelligence, the influence of commerce, steam, wind, and
    lightning are our allies. It would be easy to amplify this
    summary, and to swell the vast conglomeration of our material
    forces; but there is a deeper and truer method of measuring the
    power of our cause, and of comprehending its vitality. This is
    to be found in its accordance with the best elements of human
    nature. It is beyond the power of slavery to annihilate
    affinities recognized and established by the Almighty. The slave
    is bound to mankind by the powerful and inextricable net-work of
    human brotherhood. His voice is the voice of a man, and his cry
    is the cry of a man in distress, and man must cease to be man
    before he can become insensible to that cry. It is the righteous
    of the cause--the humanity of the cause--which constitutes its
    potency. As one genuine bankbill is worth more than a thousand
    counterfeits, so is one man, with right on his side, worth more
    than a thousand in the wrong. "One may chase a thousand, and put
    ten thousand to flight." It is, therefore, upon the goodness of
    our cause, more than upon all other auxiliaries, that we depend
    for its final triumph.

    Another source of congratulations is the fact that, amid all the
    efforts made by the church, the government, and the people at
    large, to stay the onward progress of this movment, its course
    has been onward, steady, straight, unshaken, and unchecked from
    the beginning. Slavery has gained victories large and numerous;
    but never as against this movement--against a temporizing policy,
    and against northern timidity, the slave power has been
    victorious; but against the spread and prevalence in the country,
    of a spirit of resistance to its aggression, and of sentiments
    favorable to its entire overthrow, it has yet accomplished
    nothing. Every measure, yet devised and executed, having for its
    object the suppression of anti-slavery, has been as idle and
    fruitless as pouring oil to extinguish fire. A general rejoicing
    took place on the passage of "the compromise measures" of 1850.
    Those measures were called peace measures, and were afterward
    termed by both the great parties of the country, as well as by
    leading statesmen, a final settlement of the whole question of
    slavery; but experience has laughed to scorn the wisdom of pro-
    slavery statesmen; and their final settlement of agitation seems
    to be the final revival, on a broader and grander scale than ever
    before, of the question which they vainly attempted to suppress
    forever. The fugitive slave bill has especially been of positive
    service to the anti-slavery movement. It has illustrated before
    all the people the horrible character of slavery toward the
    slave, in hunting him down in a free state, and tearing him away
    from wife and children, thus setting its claims higher than
    marriage or parental claims. It has revealed the arrogant and
    overbearing spirit of the slave states toward the free states;
    despising their principles--shocking their feelings of humanity,
    not only by bringing before them the abominations of slavery, but
    by attempting to make them parties to the crime. It has called
    into exercise among the colored people, the hunted ones, a spirit
    of manly resistance well calculated to surround them with a
    bulwark of sympathy and respect hitherto unknown. For men are
    always disposed to respect and defend rights, when the victims of
    oppression stand up manfully for themselves.

    There is another element of power added to the anti-slavery
    movement, of great importance; it is the conviction, becoming
    every day more general and universal, that slavery must be
    abolished at the south, or it will demoralize and destroy liberty
    at the north. It is the nature of slavery to beget a state of
    things all around it favorable to its own continuance. This
    fact, connected with the system of bondage, is beginning to be
    more fully realized. The slave-holder is not satisfied to
    associate with men in the church or in the state, unless he can
    thereby stain them with the blood of his slaves. To be a slave-
    holder is to be a propagandist from necessity; for slavery can
    only live by keeping down the under-growth morality which nature
    supplies. Every new-born white babe comes armed from the Eternal
    presence, to make war on slavery. The heart of pity, which would
    melt in due time over the brutal chastisements it sees inflicted
    on the helpless, must be hardened. And this work goes on every
    day in the year, and every hour in the day.

    What is done at home is being done also abroad here in the north.
    And even now the question may be asked, have we at this moment a
    single free state in the Union? The alarm at this point will
    become more general. The slave power must go on in its
    career of exactions. Give, give, will be its cry, till the
    timidity which concedes shall give place to courage, which shall
    resist. Such is the voice of experience, such has been the past,
    such is the present, and such will be that future, which, so sure
    as man is man, will come. Here I leave the subject; and I leave
    off where I began, consoling myself and congratulating the
    friends of freedom upon the fact that the anti-slavery cause is
    not a new thing under the sun; not some moral delusion which a
    few years' experience may dispel. It has appeared among men in
    all ages, and summoned its advocates from all ranks. Its
    foundations are laid in the deepest and holiest convictions, and
    from whatever soul the demon, selfishness, is expelled, there
    will this cause take up its abode. Old as the everlasting hills;
    immovable as the throne of God; and certain as the purposes of
    eternal power, against all hinderances, and against all delays,
    and despite all the mutations of human instrumentalities, it is
    the faith of my soul, that this anti-slavery cause will triumph.
    Chapter 27
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