Slavery – and the Internal Slave Trade


FIRST QUESTION: What is the number of slaves held in the different States of the American Union?
As no national census of the population of the United States has been taken since 1830, we cannot give precisely the present number of slaves. The following estimate is near the truth, though it probably falls below the actual number. It is based upon the rate of increase shown in the national census of 1830, and the later state censuses of Massachusetts, Michigan, and Mississippi, in 1837; of New York and Illinois in 1835; of Missouri in 1836, and of Alabama and Georgia in1838.

The number of slaves in the nominally free states is taken from the national census of 1830. It must be considerably less now than it was ten years ago, there being no additions to it by birth or otherwise.


The preceding census assigns a few slaves each to the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York. This is a mistake. In those states no persons can be legally held as slaves. The slaves in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania consist of those born prior to the date of the Abolition Acts in those states, and who were not emancipated thereby. Those in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan are persons legally entitled to their freedom. Those in Illinois are “indentured apprentices,” held very much in the condition of slaves. The slaves in New Jersey, like those in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, are persons born before the Abolition Act passed in the state, with the addition of such as have from time to time been introduced by immigrants from other slave states, removing into New Jersey to reside.

The annexed Tables exhibit the increase of the population of the United States, white, free colored, and slave, since the first census of 1790; the relative increase of each class, &c.


The following Tables, exhibiting the progress of the population of the several states of the Union, and of the different classes of the inhabitants, are taken from a “Statistical View of the Population of the United States from 1790 to 1830 inclusive, furnished by the Department of State, in accordance with the resolutions of the Senate of the United States of the 26th of February, 1833, and the 31st of March, 1834.”

Showing the total population of each state according to five enumerations; the numerical increase in each ten years and in forty years; and the increase per cent, in ten years and in forty years.





Showing the total number, the numerical increase, and the increase-per cent during each ten years, and during forty years from 1790 to 1830, of the several classes of the population; abstracted from the document already named.


Showing the number of slaves in each of the slaveholding states; the numerical increase in each ten years, and the increase per cent; also the increase and the increase per cent in forty years.




NOTE. The number of slaves in the states north of Maryland in 1790, was 48,267; in 1830, only 6,066; and of these 5546 belonged to New Jersey and Delaware.

Showing the annual rate of increase per cent, during each of the ten years from 1790 to 1830.


Showing the times of the first and second duplication of the inhabitants. The second duplication, except with respect to the free coloured people, is by estimate,


In Table I. the aggregate number of inhabitants given to each square mile is just twice as great in the Free states as in the slave states, including white, free coloured, and slaves.

Table II. is presented chiefly for the purpose of showing that the population of the free states has increased much more rapidly than that of the slave states. This will appear by the following estimates, founded upon the statistics of this table.


The difference is made still more obvious by contrasting the free and slave states severally—thus:


Thus it appears that the ratio of increase in the free sates is much greater than in the slave states. How is this to be explained? Certainly not by any advantages of soil, climate, or productions. In all these respects, the south enjoys a marked superiority. Her soil is proverbially fertile, and her genial clime as favourable perhaps as any in the world, both for the rapid increase of population, and for the productions requisite for subsistence; while both soil and climate conspire to yield the most profitable staples known to commerce. Many of the free sates, and those the most densely populated, are characterised by the reverse of all this. With a hilly surface and a stubborn soil, locked up by frost or covered with snow for one half of the year, they would seem able to yield but a stinted support to a scanty population, nor even that, without an amount of toil unfavourable to rapid increase. To what, then, is this striking superiority of the free over the slave states, in point of population, to be ascribed? To a political ascendency, by which the energies of the south are crippled, and her prosperity arrested? So far is this from being the case, as we shall have occasion hereafter to show, that although the free states elect a majority of the members of Congress, the slave states have, for all practical purposes, the entire ascendency. They have never yet failed to carry their favourite measures against the free states, and not infrequently have succeeded in imposing upon the latter most disadvantageous restrictions in furtherance of their own sectional interests. The secret of the political power held by the slave states will be exposed in another place; suffice it here to observe, that the facts is notorious. No explanation can be given of the point in question but this—slavery has made the difference.
In Table III. the relative increase of all classes of the population is given, from which it appears that the increase of the slaves during forty years was nearly fifty per cent. Less than that of the whites during the same period. This estimate embraces the whole white population, both north and south.

The slaves increase somewhat faster than the whites of the slaves states alone. What proportion, however, of this is the natural increase by birth, and how much is owning to foreign importations, cannot be accurately determined. Though the ratio of increase is generally found to be greater among the labouring classes than among any other, the slave increase, compared with that of the whole white population, is greatly inferior; the natural effect of their excessive toil, scanty sustenance, and multiform privations and inflictions.

On the other hand, the reflex influence of slavery upon the slaveholders is seen in the reduction of the ratio of the increase of the white inhabitants in the slave states, even below that of the slaves.


SECOND QUESTION. From what states are slaves exported for sale, and what is the number from each state?

Slaves are exported from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, and the district of Columbia. The states from which the largest proportion are taken are Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Kentucky, and of these Virginia exports most.
Of the number exported annually from each state we cannot speak with accuracy. From the following data, however, an estimate may be formed of the whole number, which will not be very far from the truth.

The “Virginia Times” (a weekly newspaper published at Wheeling, Virginia) estimates, in 1836, the number of slaves exported for sale from that state alone, during “the twelve months preceding,” at forty thousand, the aggregate value of whom is computed at twenty-four millions of dollars.

Allowing for Virginia one half of the hole exportation during the period in question, and we have the appalling sum total of eighty thousand slaves exported in a single year from the breeding states. We cannot decide with certainty what proportion of the above number was furnished by each of the breeding states, but Maryland ranks next to Virginia in point numbers, North Carolina follows Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, then Tennessee, Missouri, and Delaware.


THIRD QUESTION. To which of the states are slaves exported, and what is their number in each of those slaves?

The states into which slaves are imported are South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, also the territory of Florida. North Carolina is to some extent an importing as well as an exporting state; some sections exporting and other importing.

The same is true in a limited degree of Tennessee and Missouri.


FOURTH QUESTION. What proportion of them are supplied by the internal slave trade?

By far the greater proportion, perhaps four-fifths or more. The extent, regularity, and activity of the internal slave trade are matter of astonishment, no less than of grief and shame. We have estimated the exportation of a single year at eighty thousand, on the lowest calculation; we should, perhaps, have been nearer the truth, had we put it at a hundred and twenty thousand; as will appear from the following extracts.

“The Natchez (Mississippi) Courier’ says ‘that the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas, imported two hundred and fifty thousand slaves from the more northern states in the year 1836.”

This seems absolutely incredible, but it probably includes the entire slave introduced by the immigration of their maters. The following, from the “Virginia Times,” confirms this supposition. In the same paragraph which is referred to under the second query, it is said,
“We have heard intelligent men estimate the number of slaves exported from Virginia, within the last twelve months, at a hundred and twenty thousand, each slave averaging at least 600 dollars, making an aggregate of 72,000,000 dollars. Of the number of slave exported, not more than one-third have been sold, the others having been carried by their masters, who have removed.

Assuming one-third to be the proportion of the sold, there are more than eighty thousand imported for sale into the four states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. Supposing one-half of eighty thousand to be sold into the other buying states, South Carolina, Georgia, and the territory of Florida, and we are brought to the conclusion that more than a hundred and twenty thousand slaves were, for some years previous to the great pecuniary pressure in 1837, exported from the breeding to the consuming states.

The “Baltimore American” gives the following from a Mississippi paper of 1837.

“The Report made by the Committee of the Citizens of Mobile, appointed at their meeting held on the 1st instant, on the subject of the existing pecuniary pressure, states, that so large has been the return of slave labour, that purchases by Alabama of that species of property from other states, since 1833, have amounted to about ten million dollars annually.

The activity and system with which this traffic is carried on, as well as its extent, may be learned from the following statements and public advertisements, derived from southern papers.

“Dealing in slave,” says the BALTIMORE (MARYLAND) REGISTER of 1829, “has become a large business; establishments are made in several places in Maryland and Virginia, at which they are sold like cattle; these places of deposit are strongly built, and well supplied with iron thumbscrews and gags, and ornamental with cowskins and other whips, oftentimes bloody.”

The following are specimens of the advertisements of Baltimore traders:

“Austin Woolfolk, of Baltimore, wishes to inform the slaveholders of Maryland and Virginia, that their friend still lives to give cash and the highest price for negroes,” &c.

“General Slave Agency Office.—Gentlemen planters from the south, and other who wish to purchase negroes, would do well to give me a call. –LEWIS SCOTT.”

“Cash for two hundred Negroes.—The highest cash prices will be paid for negroes of both sexes, by application to me or my agent at Booth’s Garden. –HOPE H. SLATER”

“For New Orleans.—A coppered, copper-fastened packet-brig will sail on the 1st of February from Baltimore. Those having servants to ship will do well by making early application to James Purvis,” &c

The degree to which Virginia is implicated in this trade, may be inferred from the open avowals of her own statesmen. In the Legislature of that state, in 1832, Thomas Jefferson Randolph declared that Virginia had been converted into “one grand menagerie, where men are reared for the market like oxen for the shambles.”

Hon. Charles Fenton Macer (a member of congress from Virginia since 1817) asserted in the Virginia Convention in 1829.

“The tables of the natural growth of the slave population demonstrate, when compared with the increase of its numbers in the commonwealth for twenty years past, that an annual revenue of not less than a million and a half of dollars is derived from the exportation of a part of this population.”
Mr. Gholson, of Virginia, in his speech in the Legislature of that state, January 18, 1831 (see Richmond Whig), says—
“It has always (perhaps erroneously) been considered by steady and old-fashioned people, that the owner of land had reasonable right to its annual profits; the owner of the orchards to their annual fruits; the owner of brood mares to their product; and the owner of female slaves to their increase. We have not the fine-spun intelligence nor legal acumen to discover the technical distinctions drawn by gentlemen (i.e the distinction between female slaves and brood mares). The legal maxim of ‘Partus sequitur ventrem’ is coeval with the existence of the right of property itself, and is founded in wisdom and justice. It is on the justice and inviolability of this maxim that the master foregoes the service of the female slave, has her nursed and attended during the period of her gestation, and raises the helpless infant offspring. The value of the property justifies the expenses, and I do not hesitate to say, that in its increase consists much of our wealth.”

We have here the assurance of a prominent slaveholder, that the only ground on which the female slave is released from the labour of the house or field for a single day, either before or after her confinement, is the right of her master to dispose of her offspring; that the only thing which can justify the expense of a brief discharge from toil, though God and nature alike and aloud demand it, is the “value of the property.” Of course, in the slave-consuming states, where it is deemed more profitable to buy fresh supplies every few years than to raise them, on the ground there is no consideration which can “justify” the master in “foregoing the service of the female slave,” however delicate her situation! We fear that this principle of slaveholding ethics is but too faithfully carried out by the sugar and cotton planters of the south.

Professor Dew, now President of the University of William and Mary in Virginia, in his Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature in 1831-2, says (page 120),
“A full equivalent being left in the place of the slave (the purchase money), his emigration becomes an advantage to the state, and does not check the black population as much as at first view we might imagine; because it furnishes every inducement to the master to attend to the negroes, to encourage breeding, and to cause the greatest number possible to be raised.” Again, “Virginia is in fact a negro-raising state for other states.”

Mr. Goode, of Virginia, in his speech before the Virginia Legislature in January, 1832, said –

“The superior usefulness of the slaves in the south will constitute an effectual demand, which will remove them from our limits. We shall send them from our state, because it will be our interest to do so. But gentlemen are alarmed lest the market of other states be closed against the introduction of our slaves Sir, the demand for slave labor must increase,” &c.

The following is an extract from the speech of Mr. Faulkner, in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1832 (See “Richmond Whig”):

But he (Mr. Gholson) has labored to show that the abolition of slavery would be impolitic, because your slaves constitute the entire wealth of the state, all the productive capacity Virginia possesses; and sir, as things are, I believe he is correct. He says that the slaves constitute the entire available wealth of eastern Virginia. Is it true that for two hundred years the only increase in the wealth and resources of Virginia has been a remnant of the natural increase of this miserable race? Can it be that on this increase she places her sole dependence? Until I heard these declarations I had not fully conceived the horrible extent of this evil. These gentlemen state the fact, which the history and present aspect of the commonwealth but too well sustain. What, sir, have you lived for two hundred years without personal effort or productive industry, in extravagance and indolence, sustained, alone by the return from the sales of the increase of slaves, and retaining merely such a numbers as your now impoverished lands can sustain as STOCK?”
In the debates in the Virginia Convention in 1829, “Judge Upsher said,

“The value of slaves as an article of property depends much on the state of the market abroad. In this view, it is the value of land abroad, and not of land which furnishes the ration. Nothing is more fluctuating than the value of slaves. A late law of Louisiana reduced their value twenty-five per cent in two hours after its passage was known. If it should be our lot, as I trust it will be, to acquire the country of Texas, their price will rise again.”
Hon. Philip Doddridge, of Virginia, in his speech in the Virginia Convention, in 1829 (Debates, p. 89), said, —
“The acquisition of Texas will greatly enhance the value of the property in question—(Virginia slave).”

Rev. Dr. Graham, of Fayettville, North Carolina, at a colonization meeting held at that place in the fall of 1837, said,–

“There were nearly seven thousand slaves offered in New Orleans market last winter. From Virginia alone six thousand were annually sent to the south; and from Virginia and North Carolina there had gone to the south, in the last twenty years, three hundred thousand slaves.”
Hon. Henry Clay, of Kentucky, in his speech before the Colonization Society in 1892, says,

“It is believed that nowhere in the farming portion of the United States would slave labor be generally employed, if the proprietor were not tempted to raise slaves by the high price of the southern market, which keeps it up in his own.”

The “New York Journal of Commerece,” of October 12th, 1835, contains a letter from a Virginia, whom the editor calls “a very good and sensible man,” asserting that twenty thousand slaves had been driven to the south from Virginia that year, but little more than three-fourths of which had been elapsed.

The “Maryviille (Tennessee) Intelligencer,” sometime in the early part of the year 1836, says, “Sixty thousand slaves passed through a little western town for the southern market, during the year 1835.”

We might present a variety of advertisements of Virginia Slave-Moners, but our space will allow us to record but one.

“Notice.—This is to inform my former acquaintances, and the public generally, that I yet continue in the SLAVE TRADE at Richmond, Virginia, and will at all times buy, and give a fair market price for young negroes. Persons in this state, Maryland, or North Carolina, wishing to sell lots of negroes, are particularly requested to forward their wishes to me at this place. Persons wishing to purchase lots of negroes, are requested to give me a call, as I keep constantly on hand at this place a great many for sale; and have at this time the use of one hundred young negroes, consisting of boys, young men, and girls. I will sell at all times at a small advance on cost, to suit purchases. I have comfortable rooms, with a jail attached, for the reception of the negroes; and persons coming to this place to sell slaves can be accommodated, and every attention necessary will be given to have them well attended to; and, when it may be desired, the reception of the company of gentlemen dealing in slaves will conveniently and attentively be received. My situation is very healthy and suitable for the business.


From the nature of the foregoing evidence, all of it being necessarily in some measure indefinite, the actual extend of the internal slave trade can be arrived at only by approximation. The precise number annually exported from each of the slave breeding states, and also the number imported into each slave consuming state can be found on no statistical records; and as we have no data for an estimate more specific than the preceding facts, we present them as the best reply to the foregoing query which we are able to furnish.


FIFTH QUESTION. Are there any slaves imported into the United States from Africa or any other country; and what is the extent of such importation?

There are frequent importations of slaves into the United States from Africa, and occasional importation from the West Indies. The extent cannot be stated with precision. Indeed, our information on this point is necessarily more indefinite than upon the foregoing, arising from the clandestine manner of conducting the foreign trade, in consequences of its being contraband. In presenting the evidence under this head, we would recur to the fact that when in 1831 England and France made efforts to induce all the maritime powers to adopt effectual measures for the extinction of the African slave trade, the United States was the only nation that positively rejected those overtures. After repeated evasions of the proposition, and despite the urgent solicitations of the British and French governments, it was finally resolved that, “Under no condition, in no form, and with no restriction will the United States enter into any convention, or treaty, or combined efforts of any sort or kind, with other nations for the suppression of this trade.”

A full history of this transaction is contained in a late work of the Hon. William Jay, entitled a “View of the Action of the Federal Government in behalf of Slavery.”
From this work we extract the following testimonies, commencing on page 107 of the second edition:
“Judge Story, of the Supreme Court of the United States, in a charge to a grand jury, in the year 1820, thus expresses himself:

“ ‘We have but too many proofs, from unquestionable sources, that it (the African trade) is still carried o with all the implacable ferocity and insatiable rapacity of former times. Avarice has grown more subtle in its evasions and watches and seizes its prey with an appetite quickened rather than suppressed by its guilty vigils. American citizens are steeped to their very mouths (I can hardly use too bold a figure) in this stream of iniquity.’”

“On the 22nd January, 1811, the Secretary of the Navy wrote to the commanding naval officer at Charleston, ‘I hear, not without great concern, that the law prohibiting the importation of slaves has been violated in frequent instances near St. Mary’s, since the gun-boats have been withdrawn from that situation.’”

“On the 14th March, 1814, the collector of Darien, Georgia, thus wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury: ‘I am in possession of undoubted information, that African and West India negroes are almost daily illicitly introduced into Georgia, for sale or settlement, or passing through it to the territories of the United States for similar purposes. These facts are notorious, and it is not unusual to see such negroes in the streets of St. Mary, and such, too, recently captured by our vessels of war, and ordered for Savannah, were illegally bartered by hundreds in that city; for this bartering (or bonding as it is called, but in reality selling) actually took place before any decision was passed by the court respecting them. I cannot but again express to you, sir, that these irregularities and mocking of the laws by men who understand them, are such that it requires the immediate interposition of congress to effect the suppression of this traffic; for as things are, should a faithful officer of the government apprehend such negroes, to avoid the penalties imposed by the laws, the proprietors disclaim them, and some agent of the (state) executive demands a delivery of the same to him, who may employ them as he pleases, or effect a sale by way of bond for the restoration of the negroes when legally called on so to do, which bond is understood to be forfeited, as the amount of the bond is so much less than the value of the property. After much fatigue, peril, and expense, eighty-eight Africans are seized, and brought to the surveyor at Darien; they are demanded by the governor’s agent. Notwithstanding the knowledge which his excellency had that these very Africans were some weeks within six miles of his excellency’s residence, there was no effort, no stir made by him, his agents, or subordinate state officers, to carry the laws into execution; but no sooner was it understood that a seizure had been effected by an officer of the United States, than a demand is made for them; and it is not difficult to perceive that the very aggressors may, by a forfeiture of the mock bond, be again place in possession of the smuggled property.’”

It has already been seen how little reason there is to hope that the Federal government would ever interfere to prevent the introduction of foreign slaves. The foregoing communication demonstrates that, if possible, there is still less reliance to be place upon the executives and other authorities of the slave-holding states. It is manifest that if the general government were ever so desirous to arrest the foreign trade, the connivance of the state authorities would be an ample security to the slave merchant.

“On the 22nd May, 1817, the collector at Savannah wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury, “I have just received information, from a source on which I can implicitly rely, that it has already become the practice to introduce into the state of Georgia, across St. Mary’s River, from Amelia Island and East Florida, Africans who have been carried into the port of Fernanda. It is further understood that the evil will not be confined altogether to Africans, but will be extended to the worst classes of West India slaves.’”

“Captain Morris, of the navy, informed the Secretary of the Navy (18th June, 1817), ‘Slaves are smuggled in through the numerous inlets to the westward, where the people are but too much disposed to render every possible assistance. Several hundred slaves are now at Galveston, and persons have gone from New Orleans to purchase them.’”
“On the 17th April, 1818, the collector at New Orleans wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury, ‘No efforts of the officers of the customs alone can be effectual in preventing the introduction of Africans from the westward; to put a stop to that traffic, a naval force suitable to those waters is indispensable; and vessels captured with slaves ought not to be brought into this post, but to some other in the United States, for adjudication.’”
We may learn the cause of this significant hint, from a communication made the 9th of July, in the same year, by the collector at Nova Iberia:

“Last summer I got out state warrants, and had negroes seized to number of eighteen, which were part of them stolen out of the custody of the corner; the balance were condemned by the district judge, and the informers received their part of the net proceeds from the state treasurer. Five negroes that were seized about the same time were tried at Opilousa, in May last, by the same judge. He decided that some Spaniards, that were supposed to have set up a sham claim, stating that the negroes had been stolen from them on the high seas, should have the negroes, and that the persons who seized them should pay half the costs, and the state of Louisiana the other. This decision had such an effect as to render it almost impossible for me to obtain any assistance in that part of the country.”
Further testimony under this head is taken from the work lately published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, entitled “American Slavery as it is” (page 139).
“Mr. Middleton, of South Carolina, in a speech in congress, in 1819, declared that ‘thirteen thousand Africans are annually smuggled into the southern states.’

“Mr. Mucu, of Virginia, in a speech in congress about the same time, declared that ‘cargoes’ of African slaves were smuggled into the south to a deplorable extent.

“Mr. Wright, of Maryland, in a speech in congress, estimated the number annually at fifteen thousand. Miss Martineau, in her recent work (‘Society in America’), informs us that a large slaveholder in Louisiana assured her, in 1835, that the annual importation of native Africans was from thirteen to fifteen thousand.
“The President of the United States, in his message to congress, December, 1837, says,

“’The large force under Commodore Dallas (on the West India station,) has been most actively and efficiently employed in protecting our commerce, in preventing the importation of slave.’

“The ‘New Orleans Courier,’ of 15th February, 1839, has these remarks:

“’It is believed that African negroes have been repeatedly introduced into the United States. The number and the proximity of the Florida ports to the Island of Cuba, make it no difficult matter; nor is our extended frontier on the Sabine and Red rivers at all unfavourable to the smuggler.’
“The ‘Norfolk (Virginia) Beacon,’ of June 8th, 1837, has the following:

“’Slave Trade. – Eight African negroes have been taken into custody at Apalachicola, by the United States deputy marshal, alleged to have been imported from Cuba, on board the schooner ‘Emperor,’ Captain Cox. Indictments for piracy, under the Acts for the Suppression of the Slave Trade, have been found against Captain Cox, and other parties implicated. The negroes were bought in Cuba by a Frenchman named Malherbe, formerly a resident of Tallahassee, who was drowned soon after the arrival of the schooner.’

“The following testimony of Rev. Horace Moulton, now a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in Marlborough, Massachusetts, who resided some years in Georgia, reveals some of the secrets of the slave smugglers, and the connivance of the Georgia authorities at their doings. It is contained in a letter, dated February 24th, 1839.

“’The foreign slave trade was carried on to some considerable extent when I was at the south. Were you to visit all the plantations in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, I think you would be convinced that the horrors of the traffic in human flesh have not yet ceased. I was surprised to find so many that could not speak English among the slaves cargoes were landed on the coast of Florida. They could, and can still, in my opinion, be landed as safely on this coast as in any part of this continent. When landed on the coast of Florida, it is an easy matter to distribute them throughout the more southern states. The law which makes it piracy to traffic in the foreign slave trade is a dead letter. I will notice one fact which came under my own observation. It is as follows: — A slave-ship, which I have reason to believe was employed by southern men, came near the port of Savannah with about five hundred slaves, from Guinea and Congo; and the crew ran the ship a bye place, near the shore, between Tylee Light and Darien. Well, as Providence would have it, the revenue cutter, at that time taking a trip along the coast, fell in with this slave-ship, took her as a prize, and brought her up into the port of Savannah. The cargo of human chattels was unloaded, and the captives were places in an old barrack, in the port of Savannah, under the protection of the city authorities, they pretending that they should return them all to their native country again, as soon as a convenient opportunity presented itself. The ship’s crew were arrested, and confined in jail. Now for the sequel of this history. About one-third part of the negroes died in a few weeks after they were landed, in seasoning, so called. Those who did not die in seasoning must be hired out a little while to be sure, as the city authorities could not afford tokeep them on expense doing nothing. As it happened, the man in whose employ I was when the cargo of human my care. They continued with me until the sickly season drove me off to the north. I soon returned, but could not hear a word about the crew of pirates. They had something like a mock trial, as I should think, for no one, as I ever learned, was condemned, fined, or censured. But where were the poor captives, who were going to be returned to Africa by the city authorities, as soon as they could make it convenient? Oh, forsooth, those of whom I spoke, being under my care, were tugging away for the same man; the remainder were scattered about among different planters. When I returned to the north again, the next year, the city authorities had not, down to that time, made it ‘convenient’ to return these poor victims. The fact is, they belonged there; and, in my opinion, they were designed to be landed near the place where the revenue cutter seized them. Probably those very planters for whom they were originally designed received them; and still there was a pretence kept up that they would be returned to Africa. If all the facts with relation to the African slave trade, now secretly carried on at the south, could be disclosed, the people of the free states would be filled with amazement.’

“It is plain, from the nature of this trade, and the circumstances under which it is carried on, that the number of slaves imported would be likely to be estimated far below the truth. There can be little doubt that the estimate of Mr. Wright, of Maryland (fifteen thousand annually,) is some thousands too small. But even according to his estimate the African slave trade adds one hundred and fifty thousand slaves to each United States census.”
The following extract will throw additional light upon the shifts by which the slave traders and their allies contrive to escape detection. It is taken from a late work entitled “Transatlantic Sketches, &c., with Notes on Negro Slavery and Canadian Emigration, by Captain J. E. Alexander, of the British Army; London, 1833:”

“The most remarkable circumstances connected with slavery in America is the following: — A planter in Louisiana, of forty year’ standing, assured me that there are a set of miscreants in the city of New Orleans who are connected with the slave-traders of Cuba, and who at certain periods proceed up the Mississippi river as far as the Fourche mouth, which they descend in large row boats, and meet off the coast slaveships. These they relieve of their cargoes, and returning to the main stream of the Mississippi, they drop down it in covered flat-bottomed boats or arks, and dispose of the negroes to those who want them.” Vol. II page 26.

This testimony reveals two important facts: 1st. That the slave traders of Cuba, who are known to be extensively engaged in the foreign traffic, are in the habit of smuggling their ‘cargoes’ by system into the United States; 2nd. That there is a class of persons in our southern ports who regularly co-operate with the Cuba slave traders, and secretly but successfully aid in the introduction of African slaves. How extensively these secret combinations exist throughout the south cannot be known; but we have no reason to believe that they are confined to the city of New Orleans.


SIXTH QUESTION. What are the circumstances under which slaves are clandestinely introduced into the United States?

The answer to this query has been anticipated in the foregoing reply. It has been shown that the Florida ports afford abundant facilities for the introduction of foreign slaves, and that the Georgia ports are, by the gross connivance of the state authorities, but little less accessible. We have no reason to suppose that the ports of South Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana are a whit more scrupulous. Probably frequent importations are effected by the mode described in the foregoing extracts from Captain Alexander. What mode would be peculiarly favourable for escaping detection; for the slaves being dropped down the Mississippi river, might be readily smuggled into New Orleans as Kentucky or Virginia slaves or they might be disposed of before reaching that port to planters along the river, or these planters might make engagements beforehand with the traders to deliver the slaves at their plantations, and thus the latter might sell out their cargoes without the slightest risk of falling into the clutches of a custom house office.


SEVENTH QUESTION. What are the features of slavery in the states of the Union, from whence slaves are sold?
While slavery is essentially the same everywhere, in Virginia and Louisiana, — in the United States, Cuba, and Brazil, its features are varied and modified by the peculiar interests it is made to serve. In one place there will be a greater waste of life, in another marked physical cruelty, in another special moral degradation. No conditions, however, in which slavery exists are more diverse than those which we are now considering, i.e the breeding and the consuming. In our replies, we shall reserve for the latter all such observations as are common to both conditions, excepting where the features, though alike, result from different causes; in which case they will be adverted to under both heads. It may be well also to premise that the states called breeding states are not such exclusively such. The former work their slaves, as well as breed and sell them, and the latter produce to a limited extent as well as buy; though in both cases these are subordinate operations.

The features of slavery naturally divide themselves into those which respectively relate to the slave and the slaveholder. The causes which tend to distinguish the slavery of the breeding states from that existing elsewhere, are chiefly the breeding system itself, and the comparative unprofitableness of slave labor. How each of these affects the slave and the slaveholder will be briefly illustrated.

The unprofitableness of slave labor in the northern breeding states, which, compared with that in the more southern states, is very striking, arises chiefly from the want of lucrative and large staples, such as cotton and sugar, and that impoverishment of the soil which has been the result of long continued forced cultivation. Such products as corn, wheat, hemp, and even tobacco, afford employment comparatively for few labourers, and do not yield sufficient profit especially on the worn-out lands of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, to support a large agricultural force, if that were needed.
The inevitable result of poor soil, poor crops, and poor staples is the poverty of the planter, from which the slave suffers in various ways.

1. His wants must be very inadequately supplies. Though he is the tiller of the soil, and the cultivator of its crops, still he is a beggar at best, dependent upon his owner for food, clothing, and shelter. When the master’s purse is stinted, the slave is the first to feel it. When the encroachments of poverty call for retrenchment somewhere, the knife is sure to fall first upon the slave’s supplies. He feels it in the reduction of his scanty wardrobe and meagre table, and in his neglected crumbling hut, while the master still maintains his state, equipage, and princely residence. The slave women are clad in rags, and their children stripped to nakedness, that the planter’s wife and daughters may flaunt in finery and revel in accustomed luxury. On this point, nothing can be more pertinent than the following, from “the testimony of the Gradual Emancipation Society of North Carolina, signed by Moses Swain, President, and William Swain, Secretary:”
“In the eastern part of the state (North Carolina) the slaves considerably out-number the free population. Their situation is wretched beyond description. Impoverished by the mismanagement which we have already attempted to describe, the master, unable to support his own grandeur and maintain his slaves, puts the unfortunate wretches upon short allowances, scarcely sufficient for their sustenance, so that a great part of them go half-naked and half-starved much of the time.” See “American Slavery as it is,” p. 60.
We leave you to conceive the sufferings of the slaves, when their supplies, stinted enough at best, are restricted to the utmost verge of endurance by the slaveholder’s poverty. This is of necessity a feature of slavery in the breeding states.

2. The slave suffers also by being severely tasked and driven. The very sterility of his grounds tempts the planter to increase the burthens of his slaves, in order that he may, if possible, supply by forced labor the deficiencies of the soil. Thus while in the cotton, sugar, and rice growing states, hard driving and overworking are the natural results of great fertility, in the breeding states they are no less the natural consequences of extreme barrenness.

3. Again, the spleen of poverty-stricken master often wreaks itself upon the slave. True, it is the land not the slave which is in fault, or rather the planter himself, through his own carelessness and persistence in a wasteful system of forced labor. But what of that? The rage of mortified pride has smitten him, and he asks not for the reasons of things, but for vengeance. If his fields could feel his fury, he might scourge them for their barrenness; but the trembling slave can feel, and he must be the victim. Such are the aspects of slave suffering which present themselves in connection with a wasted soil.
The evils entailed upon the master are scarcely less grievous.

1. He is involved in pecuniary embarrassment, from which nothing can relieve him but a resort to slave selling, or a removal from the state. Conscientious scruples remonstrate perhaps against the former, and strong local attachments equally oppose the latter; meanwhile his embarrassments thicken apace, and call more loudly for relief. Conscience and local attachment still maintain their ground and advise retrenchment, but family pride sternly forbids that. Family name and dignity must be sustained; the hereditary style of dress, furniture, and equipage must be supported; the alternative therefore is thrown back upon conscience and love of homestead. The latter, always a powerful principle, is proverbially strong in the “Old Dominion,” where it is blended with and nourished by an ancestral veneration scarcely excelled even in the aristocratic countries of Europe. The Virginian, in his patrimonial halls, is not the man to embrace the noble sentiment of Algernon Sydney—“When I cannot live in my own country but by such means as are worse than dying in it, I think God shows me I ought to keep myself out of it.” If in so unequal a struggle conscience should surrender, it is what might be expected of frail human nature.
Thus it comes to pass that persons of naturally generous sentiments are seduced into slave breeding and selling as a means of retrieving their sinking fortunes, and upholding family importance. It is doubtless by this process, operating gradually and for a long time, that the most odious business in which man ever engaged, instead of being monopolized by outlawed kidnappers, infesting forest haunts, should be prosecuted by all classes, all professions, both sexes, and all ages, until now it has avowedly become the chief source of wealth in several states of this union.

2. Another effect upon the master is the perpetual galling of blighted fortunes; an evil to which the habit of exercising arbitrary power, and the previous possession of wealth, render the slaveholder peculiarly sensitive. Of all men in the world he is least prepared to bear the pinch of poverty. He is exasperated, and his family witness, if they do not like his slaves feel, the violence of his passions. Habitual sourness or gloom corrodes or beclouds his high spirits, and drives him perchance to dissipation for relief. He plunges into the whirl, and probably a street fight or a duel winds up the scene.

3. The entire want of agricultural enterprise characteristics the slaveholder. Disheartened by the increasing sterility of his lands, her resorts to no expedients for renovating them. Field after field is surrendered to weeds and bushes, and thus the limits of his tillable lands are gradually contracted, unless new lands are added to undergo the same rapid process of exhaustion and decay. A downward destiny confronts the inefficient planter energies might quail, the indolent slaveholder sinks hopeless.

4. With the extinction of personal enterprise dies all public spirit. Public improvements are either wholly neglected or feebly prosecuted; charitable institutions are overlooked or wretchedly managed; systems of general education, lyceums, mechanics’ institutes, agricultural associations, and the varied machinery for scientific and moral improvement, so extensively sustained in the free states, are scarcely known; the school-house and the church, which are New England’s ornament and bulwark, are found but few and far between over the blood-cursed regions of the breeding states; and when found, their dilapidated walls, leaky roofs, shattered blinds, and broken windows, patched with paper, are a standing scoff at science and religion.

The barrenness of the soil, a curse alike to the slave and his master, is itself the consequence of slavery. The frank and self-condemning admissions of slaveholders on this point are most conclusive.

We quote from some of the eminent men of Virginia:
Mr. Brodnox, in a speech in the Virginia Legislature, 1832, made use of the following language:
“The slavery in Virginia is an evil, and a transcendent evil, it would be more than idle for any human being to doubt, or deny. It is a mildew which has blighted every region it has touched, from the creation of the world. Illustrations from the history of other countries and other times might be instructive; but we have evidence nearer at hand, in the short histories of the different states of this great confederacy, which are impressive in their admonitions, and conclusive in their character.”
The following is from Mr. George Washington Park Custis, of Virginia:

“See the wide-spreading ruin which the avarice of our ancestral government has produced in the south, as witnessed in a sparse population of freemen, deserted habitations, and filed without culture. Strange to tell, even the wolf, driven back long since by the approach of man, now returns, after the lapse of a hundred years, to howl over the desolations of slavery.”

Mr. Faulkner thus describes the blighting effects of slavery, in a speech in the Virginia Legislature:
“I am gratified to perceive that no gentleman has yet risen in this hall the avowed advocate of slavery. The day has gone by when such a voice could be listened to with patience or even forbearance. I even regret sir, that we should find one among us, who enters the lists as its apologist, except on the ground of uncontrollable necessity. If there be one who concurs with the gentleman from Brunswick (Mr. Gholson) in the harmless character of this institution, let me request him to compare the condition of the slaveholding portion of this commonwealth—barren, desolate, and seared, as it were, by the avenging hand of heaven—with the descriptions which we have of this same country from those who first broke its virgin soil. To what is the change ascribable? Alone to the withering and blasting effects of slavery.”

Mr. Summers this spake in the Virginia Legislature, 1832:
“Sir, the evils of this system cannot be enumerated—it were unnecessary to attempt it. They glare upon us at every step. When the owner looks to his wasted estate, he knows and feels them. When the statesman examines the condition of his country, and finds her moral influence gone, her physical strength diminished, her political power waning he sees and must confess hem.”

One consequence of the barrenness, pourtrayed in the preceding extracts, is that the slave-breeding states are shunned by emigrants, whether from the northern states or the old world. This evil is this stated and deplored by Mr. Custis:

“Of the vast tide of emigration which now rushes like a cataract to the west, not even a trickling rill wends its way to the ancient dominion. Of the multitude of foreigners who daily seek an asylum and home in the empire of liberty, how many turn their steps to the regions of the slave? None; no, not one! There is a malaria in the atmosphere of those regions which the new comer shuns, as being deleterious to his views and habits.”

Not is this the whole of the evil. The same causes which divert the current of immigration from the states in question, keep up a perpetual emigration, which threatens to drain them of a large portion of their white population. These removals take place among the best classes that exists in the slaveholding communities, the small farmers, mechanics, and labouring whites generally, to say nothing of that class which we have alas! But too much reason to fear is inconsiderably small, whose moral principles have stood proof against the seduction of the soul traffic. These classes cannot live in the impoverished slave states; stern necessity drives them to the more fertile free states of the west.

When these are gone, the sole representatives of free labour and free principles have taken their departure, and the devoted states are surrendered to the inglorious occupancy of the two most worthless classes that ever existed, the slaveholding and the enslaved. To this issue the slave-breeding states are now rapidly tending; and it requires no extraordinary discernment to foresee that the extinction of slavery must soon follow in the train.

This picture would still be incomplete if we failed to present the contrast between the slave-breeding states, and the contiguous free states. It is well known that the latter have no local advantages, which the former do not equally possess. Yet the free states have far outstripped their slayeholding neighbours in population, wealth, internal improvements, and general education. This is frankly conceded by southern men.

Governor Randolph, in an address to the Legislature of Virginia, in 1820, says:

” The deplorable error of our ancestors in copying a civil institution from savage Africa lias affixed upon their posterity an oppressive burthen, which nothing but the extraordinary benefits conferred by our happy climate could have enabled us to support. We have been far outstripped by states to whom nature has been far less bountiful. It is painful to consider what might have been, under other circumstances, the amount of general wealth in Virginia, or the whole sum of comfortable subsistence and bappiness possessed by all her inhabitants.”

The contrast between the slave-breeding and free states is strikingly represented by the philosophic traveller, De Tocqueville, in his account of the adjoining states, Kentucky and Ohio.

” Slavery (says this able writer), which is cruel to the slave, is absolutely prejudicial to the master. This truth was most satisfactorily demonstrated when civilisation reached the banks of the Ohio. The stream which the Indian had designated by the name of Ohio, or beautiful river, waters one of the most magnificent valleys which has ever been made the abode of man. Undulating lands extend upon both shores of the Ohio, whose soil affords inexhaustible treasures to the labourer. On either bank the air is wholesome, and the climate mild, and each of them forms the extreme frontier of a vast state. That which follows the numerous windings of the Ohio on the left is called Kentucky ; that upon the right bears the name of the river. These two states differ only in a single respect ; Kentucky has admitted slavery, but the state of Ohio has prohibited the existence of slavery within its borders. Thus the ii-aveller who floats down the current of the Ohio to the spot where that river falls into the Mississippi may be said to sail between liberty and servitude; and a transient inspection of the surrounding objects will convince him as to which of the two is most favorable to mankind. Upon the left bank of the stream the population is rare. From time to time one descries a troop of slaves loitering in the half-desert fields. The primeval forests recur at every turn. Society seems to be asleep, man to be idle, and nature alone offers a scene of activity and life.

” From the right bank, on the contrary, a confused hum is heard, which proclaims the presence of industry. The fields are covered with abundant harvests ; the elegance of the dwellings announces the taste and activity of the labourers ; and man appears to be in the enjoyment of that wealth and contentment which is the reward of labour.”

We pass to consider the features which arise from the breeding, rearing, and selling of slaves.

This system bears with extreme severity upon the slave.

*It subjects him to a perpetual fear of being sold to the ” soul-driver/” which to the slave is the realisation of all conceivable woes and horrors, more dreaded than death. An awful apprehension of this fate haunts the poor sufferer by day and by night, from his cradle to his grave. Suspense hangs like a thunder-cloud over his head. He knows that there is not a passing hour, whether he wakes or sleeps, which may not be the last that he shall spend with his wife and children. Every day or week some acquaintance is snatched from his side, and thus the consciousness of his own danger is kept continually awake. ” Surely my turn will come next,” is his harrowing conviction ; for he knows that he was reared for this, as the ox for the yoke, or the sheep for the slaughter. In this aspect, the slave’s condition is truly indescribable. Suspense, even when it relates to an event of no great moment, and “endureth but for a night,” how hard to bear ! But when it broods over all; absolutely all that is dear, chilling the present with its deep shade, and casting its awful gloom over all the future, it must break the heart ! Such is the Suspense under which every slave in the breeding states lives. It poisons all his little lot of bliss. If a father, he cannot go forth to his toil without bidding a mental farewell to his wife and children. He cannot return, weary and worn, from the field, with any certainty that he shall not find his home robbed and desolate. Nor can he seek his bed of straw and rags without the frightful misgiving that his wife may be torn from his arms before morning. Should a white stranger approach his master’s mansion, he fears that the soul-driver has come, and awaits in terror the overseer’s mandate, ” You are sold follow that man.” There is no being on earth whom the slaves of the breeding states regard with so much horror as the trader. He is to them what the prowling kidnapper is to their less wretched brethren in the wilds of Africa. The master knows this, and that there is no punishment so effectual to secure labor or deter from misconduct, as the threat of being delivered to the “souldriver.”

2. Another consequence of this system is the prevalence of licentiousness. This is indeed one of the foul features of slavery everywhere; but it is especially prevalent and indiscriminate where slave-breeding is conducted as a business. It grows directly out of this system, and is inseparable from it. In the planting states, licentiousness is a passion, but in the breeding states it is both a passion and a pursuit; in the former it is fostered by lust, in the latter by lust and cupidity ; there it is a mere irregularity, here it is a branch of a flourishing trade, a trade made more flourishing by its prevalence. The pecuniary inducement to general pollution must be very strong, since the larger the slave increase the greater the master’s gains, and especially since the mixed blood demands a considerably higher price than the pure black. This is a temptation which often overcomes both the virtue and the pride of white men; so often, that it is to be doubted whether, as touching this matter, there be much of either left.

The following testimony is from a Methodist minister in Virginia, formerly from a New England Conference. It is taken from a letter, dated March 13, 1835, and addressed to the Rev. Orange Scott, editor of the Wesleyan Observer, Lowell, Massachusetts.

” There are many vices which are winked at by the good and encouraged by the ungodly, who hold slaves. I allude to breeding slaves. There is a great temptation to this. No property can be vested more profitably than in young healthy negro women. They will, by breeding, double their value in every five years. Mulattoes are surer than pure negroes. Hence planters have no objection to any white man or boy having free intercourse with all the females ; and it has been the case that an overseer has been encouraged to make the whole posse his harem and has been paid for the issue. This causes a general corruption of morals.”

The Rev. J. D. Paxton, a Virginian, and till recently a slaveholder, says in his work on slavery, “the best blood in Virginia flows in the veins of the slaves.”

Dr. Torry, in his work on domestic slavery in the United States, p. 14, says
” While at a public-house in Frederick-town (Maryland), there came into the bar-room on Sunday, a decently-dressed white man, of quite a light complexion, in company with one who was totally black. After they went away, the landlord observed that the white man was a slave. I asked him, with some surprise, how that could be possible ? To which he replied, that he was a descendant, by female ancestry, of an African slave. He also stated, that not far from Frederick-town there was a slave estate on which there were several white females of as fair and elegant appearance as white ladies in general, held in legal bondage as slaves.”

It is very common to meet with advertisements of runaway slaves, similar to the following :

” 100 dollars Reicard.—The above reward will be paid for the apprehension of my man William. He is a very bright mulatto, straight yellowish hair. I have no doubt he will try to pass himself for a white man, which he may be able to do, unless to a close observer.

“T. S. PlCHARD.”

” 100 dollars Reward.—Ran away from James Heyhart, Paris, Kentucky, on the 29th June last, the mulatto boy Norton, about fifteen years, a very bright mulatto, and would be taken for a white boy, if not closely examined. Hair black and straight.

“11th August, 1836.—New Orleans True American.”

“100 dollars Reward—Will be given for the apprehension of my negro (!) Edmund Kennedy. He has straight hair, and complexion so nearly white, that it is believed a stranger would suppose there was no African blood in him. He was with my boy Dick a short time since in Norfolk, and offered him for sale, and was apprehended, but escaped under pretence of being a white man.

“Anderson Bowles.

” Richmond (Virginia) Whig, January 6th, 1836.”

It is needless to multiply testimony to a truth which is so abundantly illustrated by the swarming tribes of light hued slaves in city, town, and country. Extensive, however, as this amalgamation unquestionably is, the professed ministers of the gospel dare not expose or rebuke it any more than they dare to denounce slave-breeding or selling. It is a part of the system, a branch of the ” institution ;” one department of the craft by which slaveholders have their gains. If it were solely a lustful indulgence it might be spoken against, but being a business transaction it is unimpeachable and inviolable.

3. It might be thought that the breeding system would effectually shield the slaves against bodily cruelty, and by appeals to the master’s interests, secure to them ample food, clothing, shelter, and relief from severe labour, since these things are favourable to rapid increase. But if interest would ensure all this, it would equally ensure every other important blessing; but this is found to be a poor protection to the slave, amid the numberless and overpowering temptations to cruelty. However, if there were any reliance to be placed upon this, it would at best profit only that class of slaves who were in a breeding or saleable condition; though even in the case of these, great cruelty, toil, and privation might be imposed, without materially impairing their breeding or saleable qualities. But the unsaleable and barren (whether from nature, disease, or age) could find no security in the master’s interest. The sufferings of these large classes of slaves in the breeding states must be dreadful. Of little or no value from their labour, where labour is at best unproductive, and entirely valueless in point of increase, where that is the great staple, they must be a burthen upon their “owners,” and of course miserably provided for and cruelly treated. Where fruitfulness is the greatest of virtues, barrenness will be regarded as worse than a misfortune, ‘as a crime, and the subjects of it will be exposed to every form of privation and infliction. Thus a deficiency, wholly beyond the slave’s control, becomes the occasion of inconceivable suffering.

This representation is fully confirmed by the subjoined testimony, taken from ” American Slavery as it is,” page 15 :

” The following was told me by an intimate friend ; it took place on a plantation containing about one hundred slaves. One day the owner ordered the women into the barn ; he then went in among them, whip in hand, and told them he meant to flog them all to death. They began immediately to cry out, ‘ What have I done, massa ? what have I done V He replied, i d—n you, I will let you know what you have done ; you don’t breed ; I have not had a young one from one of you for several months.’

” One of the slaves on another plantation gave birth to a child, which lived but two or three weeks. After its death the planter called the woman to him, and asked her how she came to let the child die ; said it was all owing to her carelessness, and that he meant to flog her for it. She told him, with all the feeling of a mother, the circumstances of its death, but her story availed her nothing against the savage brutality of her master : she was severely whipped. A healthy child, four months old, was then considered worth one hundred dollars in North Carolina.” —Narrative of Mr. Caulkins, who spent eleven months in North Carolina.

4. Another result of the breeding system is, that the slaves very frequently run off, subjecting themselves to indescribable sufferings in the attempt, and to tortures often worse than death in case they are retaken. Elopements are taking place more or less frequently from all the slave states, but the greater proportion are from the breeding states. This is owing in part to the greater facilities for escape from the latter, but chiefly to that suspense under which the slaves there live of being sold and sent to the south. So long as they have any prospect of remaining among their friends and local attachments, they will generally endure the evils of slavery, rather than encounter the risk, perils, and hardships of elopement. But as soon as they learn that they are to be sold and dragged to the south, they break away from their “bornin-ground,” sometimes taking their families with them, but oftener compelled to go alone. Of those who betake themselves to flight, some make no further effort than to gain some distant forest, in whose pathless wilds they conceal themselves, obtaining a miserable subsistence from nuts and roots. Others aim to reach Canada. This doubtless would be the aim of all, but many have no knowledge of such a place, and many more have no idea in what direction it lies. A gentleman of the north, who spent some years as a school teacher in eastern Virginia, states, that on one occasion, when the planter with whom he was boarding had driven off with his family to a camp-meeting, and just as he had mounted his horse to follow, a large number of the planter’s slaves surrounded him, and besought, him most earnestly to tell them which way Canada lay. Under the conflicting emotions of fear for himself and sympathy for the slaves, he put spur to his horse, and galloped away.

We shall not dwell here upon the sufferings which the fugitives endure on the way, even when their attempt to escape is successful : the consuming hunger, protracted sometimes for days, the journeyings by night in the depth of woods? shunning with instinctive fear human habitations, public roads? and even cultivated fields, except when driven by the last extreme of hunger, tortured all the time with the dreadful uncertainty whether they are going northward, or bach, into the clutches of their masters,—their concealment by day, sleepless from fear, and trembling at every shaking leaf,—their exposure half naked to the cold of winter, swimming rivers, and with bleeding feet tracking their way amid snows and ice, until flesh and heart fail them. These sufferings form a chapter in the history of human woe, fraught with agony and blood ; but it is yet to be written.

Contemplate the punishments which the less fortunate suffer on being returned to their master. The chances of being apprehended may be very moderately estimated at two to one of escape. Those who seek refuge in the woods are almost sure to be retaken. Very frequently they return themselves, not willingly, but driven back by the extremity of cold, hunger, or other sufferings. Those who aim to reach Canada are more likely to escape, though when it is considered what efforts are made to recover them, we may well wonder that so many succeed. Advertisements are published, containing a minute description of the person, dress, scars, &c. of the fugitive, accompanied with a large reward, varying usually from fifty to two hundred dollars, and these are dispatched by mail to the northern towns and villages, where there are sure to be minions enough ready to post them in conspicuous places, and all this, perhaps, before the adventurer has got twenty miles from his master’s house. Zeal for the ” patriarchal institution,” and desire for the lusty reward, set the man-hunters on the scent, from the master’s door to the borders of Canada.

Under these circumstances, it is indeed a marvel that a single fugitive makes good his escape, and in every instance of success we are constrained to acknowledge the intervention of the same high hand and outstretched arm which led Israel out of Egypt. What is the proportion of those who are retaken we have no means of accurately knowing; probably from one-half to threefourths of the whole. On this subject we find the following estimate in ” American Slavery as it is,” p. 136:

” We have before us, in the Grand Gulf (Mississippi) Advertiser for August 2, 1838, a list of runaways that were then in the jails of the two counties of Adams and Warren, in that state. The number of runaways thus taken up and committed in these two counties is forty-six. The whole number of counties in Mississippi hfifty-six, many of them, how- . ever, are thinly populated. Now, without making this the basis of our estimate for the whole slave population in all the state, which would doubtless make the number much too large, we are sure no one who has any knowledge of facts as they are in the south, will charge upon us an over-estimate, when we say that of the present generation of slaves, probably one in thirty is of that class, i. e. has at some time, perhaps often, run away, and been retaken ; on that supposition, the whole number would be not far from ninety thousand.”

This estimate is made for the entire south. From statements made above, we should infer that the proportion of recovered fugitives in the breeding states alone was greater; but as the facilities for successful escape are also greater in the latter, the proportion probably is about the same.

But there is a point on which we can speak with painful accuracy—we mean the tortures to which all the retaken are subjected. The master, infuriated with the ” insolent misconduct” of the slave in running away, and enraged by the loss sustained in recovering him, and resolved to make him an example which will effectually deter his other slaves from similar misdeeds, casts about for some unwonted torture. In such cases, the furnace of slaveholding vengeance is heated seven times hotter than it is wont to be heated. We quote a few examples of the dreadful punishments inflicted in such cases; they are taken from ” American Slavery as it is.”

” There was a slave on this plantation who had repeatedly run away, and had been severely flogged every time. The last time he was caught, a hole was dug in the ground, and he buried up to the chin, his arms being secured down by his sides. He was kept in this situation four or five days.

” The following fact was related to me on a plantation where I have spent considerable time, and where the punishment was inflicted ; I have no doubt of its truth :—A slave ran away from his master, and got as far as Newbern (North Carolina). He took provisions that lasted him a week, but having eaten all, he went to a house to get something to satisfy his hunger. A white man, suspecting him to be a runaway, demanded his pass ; as he had none, he was seized and put in Newbern jail. He was there advertised. His master saw the advertisement, and sent for him. When he was brought back, his wrists were tied together, and drawn over his knees ; a stick was then passed over his arms, and under his knees, and he secured in this manner. His trowsers were then stripped down, and he turned over on his side, and severely beaten with the paddle ; then turned over and severely beaten on the other side, and then turned back again, and tortured by another bruising and beating. He was afterwards kept in the stocks a week, and whipped every morning/’—Narrative of Mr. Caulk ins, pp. 15, 16.

” Punishments for runaways are usually severe : once whipping is not sufficient. I have known runaways to be whipped for six or seven nights in succession for one offence. I have known others who, with pinioned hands, and a chain extending from an iron collar on their necks to the saddle of their master’s horse, have been driven at a smart trot one or two hundred miles, being compelled to ford water-courses, their drivers, according to their own confession, not abating a whit in the rapidity of their journey for the ease of the slave. One tied a kettle of sand to his slave, to render his journey more arduous.” Narrative of Philemon Bliss, Esq. p. 104.

Often these ill-fated wretches are loaded with chains, or have iron collars fastened about their necks, with long prongs and bells, which are put on to prevent future escapes. Not unfrequently their ears are cropped or slit, or their front teeth are removed, or the initials of their master’s name are branded in their flesh with red-hot iron, as a mark by which to identify them if they should run off a second time. Those that repeatedly abscond are often maimed in some way, which will effectually disable them. Sometimes in the attempt to escape from their pursuers who have discovered them, they are shot dead, or dreadfully wounded ; frequently they are hunted down by trained dogs, which either devour them alive, or shockingly lacerate their flesh. The advertisements frequently run— ” the above reward will be paid, whether taken dead or alive,” from which we may infer that not a few are killed. We subjoin a few illustrations from ” American Slavery as it is,” page 156.

” The Wilmington (North Carolina) Advertiser of July 13, 1838, contains the following advertisement:

” One hundred dollars will he paid to any person who may safely confine in any jail in this state a negro man named Alfred. And the same reward will be paid, if evidence is given of his having been killed. He has one or more scars on one of his hands, caused by his having been shot.

” Citizens of Onslow.

” Richlands, Onslow county, May 16, 1838.”
” In the same column with the above, and directly under it, is the following:

” Ran away, my negro man Richard. A reward of twenty-five dollars will be paid for his apprehension, dead or alive. Satisfactory proof will only be required of his being killed. He has with him, in all probability, his wife Eliza.

” Durant H. Rhodes.”

” In the Macon (Georgia) Telegraph, May 28, is the following :

“About the 1st of March last, the negro man, Ransom, left me. I will give a reward of twenty dollars for said negro ; if taken, dead or alive, and if killed in any attempt, an advance of five dollars will be paid.

” Bryant Johnson.

” Crawford county, Georgia.”

“See the Newbern (North Carolina) Spectator, January 5, 1838, for the following
” Ran away, from the subscriber, a negro man named Sampson. Should he resist in being taken, so that violence is necessary to arrest him, I will not hold any person liable for damages should the slave be killed.

“Enoch Foy.

” Jones county, North Carolina.”

” From the Charleston (South Carolina) Courier, February 20, 1836:

” 300 dollars Reward.—-Ran away, from the subscriber, in November last, his two negro men, named Billy and Pompey. Billy in all probability may resist ; in that event, fifty dollars will be paid for his head.”

” From the Newbern (North Carolina) Spectator, December 2, 1836

” 200 dollars Reward.—Ran away, from the subscriber, negro Ben., also one by the name of Rigdon. I will give the reward of one hundred dollars for each of the above negroes, oxfor the killing of them, so that I can see them.

” W. D. Cobb.”

Sometimes, on being closely pursued, the fugitives in their desperation destroy themselves, to escape the torments which await them if caught. Instances often occur of their leaping from boats and drowning themselves, of mothers killing their children, whom they are carrying with them, and then taking their own lives, and of suicides in every heart-rending form.

The following case is from the Rutherford Gazette, a paper printed in the western part of North Carolina, and copied into the Southern Citizen of September 23, 1837 :—

Suicide.—The negro woman |TLucy] confined in our jail as a runaway, put an end to her existence on the 28th ult. by hanging herself. Her master came to this place the day on which it occurred, and going to the jail, was recognised by the woman as her master. He had left the jail but a short time, when it was discovered that the woman had destroyed herself. We have never known an instance where so much firmness was exhibited by any person as was by this negro. The place from which she suspended herself was not high enough to prevent her feet from touching the floor, and it was only hy drawing her legs up, and remaining in that position, that she succeeded in her determined purpose.”

5. The only remaining feature which we shall notice in the condition of the slaves of the breeding states, is expressively announced by the single word insurrections. These are by no means confined to the breeding states, they occur wherever slavery exists. From no quarter, however, have proceeded such piteous complaints about apprehended insurrections as from Virginia, the principal breeding state. It was a Virginia slaveholder (the Hon. John Randolph) who said, “every master stands a sentinel at his own door.” It has been, and must be for years to come, the fate of every slave insurrection in this country, to terminate fatally to the slave. It is true, many may be massacred before the insurgents are quelled, but quelled they must be, sooner or later, by overpowering force. They are then doomed to a summary and signal vengeance. The ringleaders are burned alive, all known to be concerned meet with death, or protracted tortures worse than death, and all suspected of having any part in the transaction are severely punished. In short, every form of cruelty and of carnage which murderous rage can inflict is let loose upon the wretches, for the double purpose of wreaking vengeance upon them, and of striking with terror all the slave population. The consequences are no less awful when, as is often the case, a meditated insurrection is detected and crushed.

Our reply under this head has been already drawn out to such length, that we forbear any extended remark upon the effects of the slave-breeding system on the master. They may be inferred from its effects upon the slave. It has been seen that licentiousness is one of the prominent features of this system, and we have had occasion incidentally to show how deeply the slaveholding class is involved in this vice. The appalling affirmation of the Rev. Mr. Paxton, already quoted, that “the best blood in Virginia flows in the veins of the slaves” (which we believe has never been denied), speaks volumes on the subject. It exposes the vice of the first families of the state. H such is the pollution of the highest circles, what must be the amount of corruption among the lower classes of whites ! The licentiousness among slaveholders’ sons is probably almost beyond exaggeration. Such are the facilities and temptations to this species of vice, that it may reasonably be doubted whether one in a thousand of the sons of slaveholders escapes pollution.

But to pass from this disgusting picture, what must be the demoralizing, the brutalizing influence upon slaveholders, of being habitually engaged in breeding and raising human beings for sale ! Compared even with soul driving, it exceeds in vileness. While the slave trader only buys and sells, retaining possession no longer than till he can reach the market, the breeder is engaged in the protracted process of raising human stock. He selects his ” breeders,” he encourages licentiousness, he rewards amalgamation, he punishes sterility, he coolly calculates upon the profits of fecundity, takes vengeance for miscarriages, and holds mothers accountable for the continued life and health of their offspring. On the head of the new-born child he sets its future price. He trains it in premeditated ignorance, he feeds it for the same purpose for which he feeds his swine—for the shambles. From the day of its birth he contemplates the hour when he shall separate it from the mother who bore it, for that hour of yet keener pangs did its mother pass through the anguish of its birth. When that hour comes, the long-determined deed is done. The master proceeds about it deliberately ; no entreaties or tears can surprise him into pity. The mother’s frenzied cry, the boy’s mute look of despair, move him not. He tears them asunder, handcuffs the the companions of his own boyhood, in others on the children of the woman, or perchance the woman herself who nursed his infancy, and often, worst of all, on his own offspring. victim, and consigns him to the soul driver. Who can doubt whether, in all this long and complicated process of villany, there is not more to sear conscience, blunt sensibility, and transform man into a demon, far more than can be found in the slave trade itself? Does the trader buy ? the master sells ; does the trader drive men and women like cattle ? the master breeds them like cattle ; does the trader separate families ? the master does the same ; does the trader sell in lots to suit purchasers ? so does the master : but here the parallel stops, and the transcendent vileness of the master towers alone, for while the trader deals with strangers, the master is perpetrating these outrages upon those whom he has reared from their birth, in some cases upon the companions of his own boyhood, in others on the children of the woman, or perchance the woman herself who nursed his infancy, and often, worst of all, on his own offspring.

Need we ask what must be the effects of such practices, steadily pursued, upon the slaveholder’s heart ? And there is his wife, who lives in the midst of all this, connives at it, and cooperates in it—what must she become ? And their children, who are the playmates of the little ” cattle,” and yet are so accustomed to seeing them torn from their parents and sold, as to be unmoved by their cries ? What proficients must they become in the execrable villanies of the husband and father !

But if in this aspect the slave breeder is an object of just abhorrence, in another view he strongly excites our pity ; for he is himself the victim of fears scarcely less harrowing than those to which he subjects the slave. His fears have their origin in the danger of insurrections. ” A dreadful sound is in his ears,” which no heroism can hush, which will not be wholly silenced by the uproar of revelry, and which breaks often upon the stillness of the night in tones of thunder.

We add no more under this query, save to group together the features which, in our extended reply, have been scattered over several pages. First, those growing out of a barren soil are, to the slave, the inadequate supply of his wants, increased severity of labor, and inflictions of positive cruelty by an irritated and poverty-pinched master ; to the slaveholder, great and growing pecuniary embarrassments, chagrin and exasperation arising therefrom, and resulting in a prostration of his spirits, and extinction of the generous sentiments, and terminating perchance in confirmed dissipation,—the death of agricultural enterprise, which accelerates the decay of the lands, when it might have been arrested, and the withering away of all public spirit. As more remote consequences, the states thus impoverished are shunned by emigrants of every grade and from every quarter of the old world and the new, while at the same time they are fast being drained of that class oftheir own population which actually composes their life’s blood • and as the result of the whole, these states are sinking in the scale of prosperity with a rapidity which is made more apparent by the equally rapid rising of the adjacent free states. The features growing out of the breeding system are, to the slaves, the incessant apprehension of sale, separation, exile, and increased inflictions, the prevalence of licentiousness systematized, bodily suffering, elopements with their terrible consequences, and insurrections with their sequel of blood and carnage. To the masters they are a deep and shameful implication in licentiousness, the hardening and brutalizing influence of slave breeding, and the harrowing fears of servile insurrection. A hideous set of features truly to belong to a system softly called a ‘ domestic institution/ shielded by public sentiment, sanctioned by law, baptized by religion, and dating back its patriarchal origin to the household of Abraham !


EIGHTH QUESTION. What are the features of the internal slave trade?

Some idea of the nature of this trade has been incidentally conveyed, in the account previously given of its extent. From which it is not difficult to infer that ” all unutterable woes ” must wait upon it. It is important to mention here the principal circumstances from which the internal trade has originated, and by which it has been upheld and extended.

First among these, is doubtless the growing poverty of the planters. We have seen how this has operated by overcoming the scruples of conscience, and giving a sort of conventional respectability to a traffic, which otherwise would have been consigned to the same infamy with the African slave trade. Thus introduced into favor with the ” highest classes,” the slave trade, which begun in a supposed necessity to avert the rigors of poverty and prevent general bankruptcy, was continued as a source of wealth. This was both inducement and justification enough with a community of slaveholders—never remarkable for over nicety in matters of principle—to reduce the trade to system, and establish it as a regular branch of business. Even in those few cases where moral or religious principle withholds masters from selling, this protection to the slave is almost sure to fail him at the death of his master ; for in the distribution and settlement of the estate the slaves are either sold or divided among the heirs without regard to the ties of kindred. Mostly, however, they are sold to the highest bidder, who is commonly the ‘soul driver/ The most heartrending scenes which attend the slave trade, occur in the sale and separation of this class of slaves. Accustomed, from the superior kindness of their deceased masters, to greater immunities than usually fall to the lot of slaves^ their family ties are stronger, their personal improvement greater, and of course their susceptibility to the sufferings of separations and to the brutal violence of the soul driver and southern overseer much keener. Yet they receive no additional respect, corresponding to their peculiar privileges ; on the contrary it is well known that they are treated with marked contempt and rigor on that very account, to ” break their Virginia spirit,” as the overseers say. In this cruel treatment we may see the explanation of those tears, which we are often told are shed over the graves of indulgent masters, and which are complacently retailed among the beauties of slavery. Well may the poor slaves wail at the prospect of being separated, and sold to masters, they know not who.

In a small tract, published by the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1838, we find the following statement:

” In seventy-two papers, printed in 1837, one thousand five hundred and twenty-five persons, of whom one hundred and seventy-nine are said to be females, and one hundred children, are advertised for sale, besides forty-one lots of human beings, number not stated ; five hundred and fifty-nine persons, and forty lots are to be sold because their masters and mistresses have died ! A single paper [“” Columbus (Georgia) Enquirer,”
Nov. 16th, 1837] contains notices for twenty-one such sales. One man, one woman, and one little girl, six years old, offered in three sales of this kind, are said to be sickly, yet they must be sold to any who will buy» In one such sale, a claim to an eighth-part ofjive slaves is offered”

In many cases, also, the slaves, whose masters would be unwilling to sell, are seized upon and sold at public sale to satisfy the claims of creditors. In the advertisements of such sales or vendues, men, women, and children are indiscriminately huddled in the same category with waggons, barrels, boxes, poultry, crockery, sheep, farming utensils, oxen, house furniture, and the numberless et-cetera of live stock and moveables pertaining to a farming establishment. A neighbour purchases the children, a distant planter the father, and a soul driver the mother.

But this suggests one of the prominent features of the internal slave trade, i. e. the separations of families and kindred. In this trade the ties of nature are wholly disregarded. This is the rule, and the exceptions are exceedingly rare. Sometimes a master refuses to sell unless the purchaser will consent to take whole families unbroken ; but it is impossible that such cases should be frequent, since the speculator cannot buy on these terms without making a sacrifice himself in the subsequent sale, for on whatever principle he buys, he must sell in lots to suit his purchasers in the south, and they very seldom wish to buy whole families. Such being the case, it is for the speculator rather than the breeder to fix the terms, and his terms are separation or no sale. It is but too certain that when such an alternative is presented to the master, and the trader’s gold glitters in his eyes, he will not long hesitate. Family separations there must be, almost as common as the trade itself, since they are essential to its profitable continuance.

Professor E. A. Andrews, a New Englander who visited the south, gives a conversation which he had with a trader, on board a steam-boat, on the Potomac, in 1835.

” In selling his slaves N assures me he never separates families; but that in purchasing them he is often compelled to do so, for that his business is to purchase, and he must take such as are in the market. Do you often buy the wife without the husband ? Yes, very often ; and frequently, too, they sell me the mother while they keep the children. I have often known them take away the infant from the mother’s breast, • and keep it while they sold her. Children from one to eighteen months old are now worth about one hundred dollars.”—” Slavery and Domestic Slave Trade in the United States” p. 147-

The following is from the ” Anti-Slavery Record,” vol. i. p. 51, &c. :

” A trader was about to start from Louisville, Kentucky, with one hundred slaves for New Orleans. Among them were two women with infants at the breast. Knowing that these infants would depreciate the value of the mothers, the trader sold them for one dollar each. Another mother was separated from her sick child, about four or five years old. Her anguish was so great that she sickened and died before reaching her destination.

” The two following cases were communicated by James G. Birnie,
Esquire, of Kentucky:

Not very long ago, in Lincoln county, Kentucky, a female slave was sold to a southern slaver under most afflicting circumstances. She had at her breast an infant boy three months old. The slaver did not want the child on any terms. The master sold the mother and retained the child. She was hurried away immediately to the depot at Louisville, to be sent down the river to the southern market. The last news my informant had of her was, that she was lying sick in the most miserable condition, her breasts having risen, inflamed, and burst.’

” ‘ During the winter, at Nashville, a slaver was driving his train of fellow-beings down to the landing, to put them on board a steam-boat, bound for New Orleans. A mother among them, having an infant, about two months old, to carry in her arms, could not keep pace with the rest. The slaver waited till she came up to where he was standing ; he snatched the infant from her arms, and handing it over to a person who stood by, made him a present of it. The mother, bereft in a single moment of her last comfort, was driven on without delay to the boat.'”

On page 70 of the same volume may be found the following fact, narrated by Mr. Birney:

” A member of a church, last winter, sold a woman who was soon to be a mother. She knew nothing of the bargain, till she was bound and seated on a horse behind the slave-trader. In her struggles she was thrown to the ground, and much injured. This did not deter the souldrivers from their purpose ; they again bound the woman to the horse, carried her eight miles, to Harrodsburgh, and threw her into a cold room in the jail. In this forlorn situation her child was born, and died. A burning fever came and released the mother also.”

” Rev. C. S. Renshaw, of Quincy, Illinois, who resided sometime in Kentucky, says :

” ‘ I was told the following fact by a young lady, daughter of a slaveholder in Boone county, Kentucky, who lived within half-a-mile of Mr. Hughes’ farm :—Hughes and Neil traded in slaves down the river ; they had bought up a part of their stock in the upper counties of Kentucky, and brought them down to Louisville, where the remainder of their drove was in jail, waiting their arrival. Just before the steam-boat put off for the lower country, two negro women were offered for sale, each of them having a young child at the breast. The traders bought them, took their babes from their arms, and offered them to the highest bidder ; and they were sold for one dollar a- piece, whilst the stricken parents were driven on board the boat, and in an hour were on their way to the New Orleans market. You are aware that a young babe diminishes the value ofa field hand in the lower country, while it enhances her value in the breedingstates.”-—” American Slavery as it is” p. 166.

We next quote from a letter by a New England minister of the methodist connexion, who spent some time as a preacher in the south.

” As to the horrors of slavery, they are many every way. First, the slave trade is the most horrible of all. Indeed this comprises the whole in miniature. The slave-dealer goes to Virginia or Maryland, where negroes are numerous, and slave labor not very profitable, and buying a company, transports them to the south-west, and sells them for an advance of fifty per cent. Here wives and husbands, parents and children, brothers and sisters, are separated ! If any of them are refractory and at all dangerous to the speculator, they are put in irons, and besides humbled by a severe scourging.”

The subjoined impressive testimony is from the Address of the Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky, published in 1836. Kentucky, it will be remembered, is one of the slave-breeding states.

” The members of a slave family may be forcibly separated, so that they shall never more meet until the final judgment. And cupidity often induced the masters to practise what the law allows. Brothers and sisters, parents and children, husbands and wives, are torn asunder, and permitted to see each other no more. These acts are daily occurring in the midst of us. There is not a neighbourhood where these heart-rending scenes are not displayed. There is not a village or road which does not behold the sad processions of manacled outcasts, whose chains and mournful countenances tell that they are exiled by force from all that their hearts held dear. Cases have occurred in our own denomination, where professors of the religion of mercy have torn the mother from her children and sent her into a merciless and returnless exile. Yet acts of discipline have rarely followed such conduct.”

The following is from ” American Slavery as it is :”

” A non-professor of religion, in Campbell county, Kentucky, sold a female and two children to a methodist professor, with the proviso that they should not leave that region of country. The slave-drivers came, and offered fifty dollars more for the woman than he (the methodist professor) had given, and he sold her. She is now in the lower country, and her orphan babes are in Kentucky”—Rev. Charles Stewart Renshaw, page 180.

The annexed testimony is taken from a well authenticated report on the ” Condition of the People of Colour in the State of Ohio,” published originally in 1835.

“It is common for boats loaded with slaves to stop at Cincinnati, on their way down the Ohio river, and it frequently happens that the friends and relations of the pupils (belonging to the free coloured schools, established a few years since in Cincinnati,) are in chains on board. A few days since, a coloured man came into one of the schools and said, he believed there was some person present who had friends on board a boat going down the river. On mentioning the names of their owners, a woman on the further side of the house immediately exclaimed, ‘ Oh, they have come,’ and fell senseless. A friend who sat near caught her in her arms, and for some time she lay apparently lifeless. Then at intervals a deep groan would burst from her agonized bosom. When she revived, a flood of tears came to her relief. 4 1 must see them,’ said she, and, hardly able to support herself, she left the house.

” These farewell scenes are worse than funerals ; they cannot be described,’ said a man to us a few days since, whose children had been sent down the river ; ‘ I’d rather have seen them die ; it broke my heart.’ This expression is common, that they had rather hear that their friends are dead, than that they are sold down the river.”

The above statements will serve to convey some idea of the family sunderings which attend upon the internal slave trade. If it still be asked how frequently such separations occur, we answer they are transpiring incessantly. There is not a week, probably not a day, during the year, and at some seasons perhaps not an hour in the day, when some slave family in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Kentucky, or Tennessee, is not thus broken up to be re-united no more forever. Constantly the horrid conscription is going forward. Among the cultivated districts and human abodes which cover the vast region just pointed out, from which the wolf and the panther have long since been scared away, hordes of soul drivers, more savage than those beasts of prey, maintain a ceaseless prowl, emboldened by sufferance and doubly brutalised by habit. The life of the whole slave population is one incessant apprehension of their approach.

We pass next to speak of the disposal which the traders make of their gangs, while collecting them and previous to embarking for the southern market.

The procurement of from fifty to three hundred slaves is a work of days, sometimes of weeks or months. Many plantations must be visited by the trader and his agents. Then a variety of circumstances occasions necessary delays, before the gang can be put in motion for the south. During this period the slaves are secured by handcuffs, fetters, and chains, and put into some place of confinement. The national prison at Washington city, and the state prisons, are prostituted to this use when occasion requires. The more extensive slave-dealers have private prisons constructed expressly for this purpose. ” These places of deposit,” says ” Nile’s (Baltimore) Weekly Register,” ” are strongly built, and well supplied with thumb-screws and gags, and ornamented with cowskins and other whips, oftentimes bloody.”

This gratuitous testimony of a southern editor reveals the atrocities which are perpetrated in the gloomy cells of these slavedungeons. There the mutterings of the refractory (as the noblespirited are termed), and the sullen scowl of the revengeful, the maniac shrieks of the childless mother, the groans of the brokenhearted father, and the convulsive sobs of orphan children, still agonized from their recent separations, are hushed into silence by the application of the thumb-screw, gag, or bloody cowskin. There the miserable gang receive their first lessons of absolute submission to the soul driver, initiatory to the horrors of the middle passage ; which forms the next link in the grand chain.

There are three principal modes by which the slaves thus procured are transported to the south. These are,

First, by vessels, coastwise, and through the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans, or perchance to some of the intermediate ports.

Second, by steamers or floats, procured for the purpose, by the way of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, or the intermediate ports.

Third, by forced marches in coffles overland.

We will give a brief account of each of these modes of transportation.

First, that by vessels. The extensive merchants in Norfolk, Petersburgh and Richmond of Virginia, in Baltimore of Maryland, and in Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington City of the district of Columbia (the latter city the seat of the national government, and the whole district under the exclusive jurisdiction of congress), have vessels of their own which are constantly employed in this trade.

The following advertisements are all from slave merchants in Petersburgh, Virginia:

Cash for Negroes.—The subscribers are particularly anxious to make a shipment of negroes shortly. All persons who have slaves to part with will do well to call as soon as possible.

” Overly and Saunders.”

” The subscriber, being desirous of making another shipment by the brig Adelaide, to New Orleans, on the first of March, will give a good market price for fifty negroes from ten to thirty years old.

” Henry Davis.”

” The subscriber wishes to purchase one hundred slaves of both sexes, from the age of ten to thirty, for which he is disposed to give much higher prices than have heretofore been given. He will call on those living in the adjacent counties, to see any property.

” Ansley Davis.”

We find in the ” National Intelligencer,” printed at Washington City, and one of the most influential newspapers in the United States, the following announcement of the regular departure of three slavers belonging to a single factory :

” Alexandria and New Orleans packets.—Brig Tribune, Samuel C. Bush, master, will sail as above, on the 1st of January.—Brig, Isaac Franklin, Wm. Smith, master, on the 1 5 th of January.—Brig, Uncas, Nathaniel Boush, master, on the 1st of February.—They will continue to leave this port on the first and fifteenth of each month, throughout the shipping season. Servants that are intended to be shipped, will at any time be received for safe keeping at twenty-five cents a day.

” John Armfield, Alexandria.”

The annexed advertisement is from a house in Baltimore.

” For New Orleans.—A coppered, copper-fastened packet brig, Isaac Franklin, will sail on the 1st of February from Baltimore. Those having servants to ship, will do well by making early application to James F. Purvis & Co.”

A multitude of similar advertisements might be given, but these will suffice. When these vessels are about to sail, the slaves are transferred from the crowded and noisome
prisons, to the more crowded and noisome holds. Here the condition of the slaves is very similar to that of their African brethren during the middle passage. That they are crowded together inhumanly, may be inferred from the following statements taken from Nile’s Register (Baltimore), December 27, 1828 :

” The NewYork Gazette says, 4 It is but a few weeks since we observed the arrival at New Orleans of three vessels from Norfolk (Virginia), having on board nearly six hundred slaves!”

This gives a cargo of about two hundred slaves to each vessel. What scenes occur from time to time on board these vessels, during the passage, may be gathered from a statement made in the same paper (Nile’s Register), January 9, 1830.

” The schooner Lafayette, with a cargo of slaves from Norfolk, Virginia, for New Orleans, narrowly escaped being captured by them on the voyage. They were subdued after considerable difficulty, and twenty-Jive of them were bolted down to the deck^ until the arrival of the vessel at New Orleans.”

Second, by steamers, or floats constructed for the purpose, by the way of the Ohio and Mississipi rivers. These floats are temporary, rude structures, designed only for making a single trip ; they are of the same style, with the flat-bottomed boats, or arks by which the produce of the western states was formerly, and is still to some extent, transported to the New Orleans market. These were more in use for conveying slaves a few years since, than they now are; some instances of rebellion, in which the slaves, breaking their chains, fell upon and slaughtered their owners and the crew, favoured the resort to steamers, which being better manned are less liable to such outbreaks, and more able to quell them. The number of slaves annually transported to the south-west by steamboats is very large. At certain seasons of the year, there is scarcely a steamboat bound for New Orleans, which does not take down a cargo of slaves. It is not known that there is a single steamer on the Ohio and Mississipi waters, which would refuse to take slaves, on application being made, although a large majority of these boats are owned and managed by citizens of the free states. The steamboats have no decks fitted specially for slaves ; hence they are placed sometimes in one part of the boat, sometimes in another, and frequently are suffered to wander about the decks and guards at pleasure. The following is an accurate description of this mode of conveyance.

” Those who are transported down the Mississippi river, are stowed away on the decks of steam-boats, males and females, old and young, usually chained, subject to the jeers and taunts of the passengers and crew ; and often by bribes or threats, or the lash, made subject to abominations not to be named. On the same deck, you may see horses and human beings tenants of the same apartments, and going to supply the same market. The dumb beasts, being less manageable, are allowed the first place ; while the human are forced into spare corners and vacant places. My informant saw one trader, who was taking down to New Orleans one hundred horses, several sheep, and between fifty and sixty slaves. The sheep and slaves occupied the same deck. Many interesting and intelligent females were of the number. I could tell facts concerning the brutal treatment exercised toward these defenceless females, while on the downward passage, which ought to kindle up the hot indignation of every mother and daughter and sister in the land. The slaves are taken down in companies, varying in number from twenty to five hundred. Men of capital are engaged in the traffic.”—Anti-slavery Manual,]pp., 110, 111.

Sometimes the slaves leap overboard in their chains, and thus escape the rigours of southern slavery by a voluntary death. No attempt is made while on the downward way to conceal them from the passengers, who from every section of the union crowd the splendid steamers of the west ; and on reaching port they are discharged, as they were originally shipped, in broad daylight, and in the presence of a multitude of spectators. But so oft repeated is this transaction, that it is viewed with as much indifference as the unlading of a cargo of flour or pork.
Third, by forced marches, on foot, over land. This is altogether the most cruel mode of transportation, as well as the most humiliating. The slaves of both sexes, and of every age and condition, are herded together like cattle, and driven by long and weary marches on foot for hundreds of miles. Women, in every situation of delicacy, feebleness, and sickness, are forced to keep pace with the rest of the gang. The drivers, armed with pistols, dirks, and long whips, ride alongside and in rear of the procession, whipping up the loiterers, and driving on at a merciless rate. As if to inflict the utmost humiliation upon African brethren during the middle passage. That they are crowded together inhumanly, may be inferred from the following statements taken from Nile’s Register (Baltimore), December 27, 1828 :

” The NewYork Gazette says, 4 It is but a few weeks since we observed the arrival at New Orleans of three vessels from Norfolk (Virginia), having on board nearly six hundred slaves!”

This gives a cargo of about two hundred slaves to each vessel. What scenes occur from time to time on board these vessels, during the passage, may be gathered from a statement made in the same paper (Nile’s Register), January 9, 1830.

” The schooner Lafayette, with a cargo of slaves from Norfolk, Virginia, for New Orleans, narrowly escaped being captured by them on the voyage. They were subdued after considerable difficulty, and twenty-Jive of them were bolted down to the deck^ until the arrival of the vessel at New Orleans.”

Second, by steamers, or floats constructed for the purpose, by the way of the Ohio and Mississipi rivers. These floats are temporary, rude structures, designed only for making a single trip ; they are of the same style, with the flat-bottomed boats, or arks by which the produce of the western states was formerly, and is still to some extent, transported to the New Orleans market. These were more in use for conveying slaves a few years since, than they now are; some instances of rebellion, in which the slaves, breaking their chains, fell upon and slaughtered their owners and the crew, favoured the resort to steamers, which being better manned are less liable to such outbreaks, and more able to quell them. The number of slaves annually transported to the south-west by steamboats is very large. At certain seasons of the year, there is scarcely a steamboat bound for New Orleans, which does not take down a cargo of slaves. It is not known that there is a single steamer on the Ohio and Mississipi waters, which would refuse to take slaves, on application being made, although a large majority of these boats are owned and managed by citizens of the free states. The steamboats have no decks fitted specially for slaves ; hence they are placed sometimes in one part of the boat, sometimes in another, and frequently are suffered to wander about the decks and guards at pleasure. The following is an accurate description of this mode of conveyance.

” Those who are transported down the Mississippi river, are stowed away on the decks of steam-boats, males and females, old and young, usually chained, subject to the jeers and taunts of the passengers and crew ; and often by bribes or threats, or the lash, made subject to abominations not to be named. On the same deck, you may see horses and human beings tenants of the same apartments, and going to supply the same market. The dumb beasts, being less manageable, are allowed the first place ; while the human are forced into spare corners and vacant places. My informant saw one trader, who was taking down to New Orleans one hundred horses, several sheep, and between fifty and sixty slaves. The sheep and slaves occupied the same deck. Many interesting and intelligent females were of the number. I could tell facts concerning the brutal treatment exercised toward these defenceless females, while on the downward passage, which ought to kindle up the hot indignation of every mother and daughter and sister in the land. The slaves are taken down in companies, varying in number from twenty to five hundred. Men of capital are engaged in the traffic.” — Anti-slavery Manual,pp, 110, 111.

Sometimes the slaves leap overboard in their chains, and thus escape the rigours of southern slavery by a voluntary death. No attempt is made while on the downward way to conceal them from the passengers, who from every section of the union crowd the splendid steamers of the west ; and on reaching port they are discharged, as they were originally shipped, in broad daylight, and in the presence of a multitude of spectators. But so oft repeated is this transaction, that it is viewed with as much indifference as the unlading of a cargo of flour or pork.

Third, by forced marches, on foot, over land. This is altogether the most cruel mode of transportation, as well as the most humiliating. The slaves of both sexes, and of every age and condition, are herded together like cattle, and driven by long and weary marches on foot for hundreds of miles. Women, in every situation of delicacy, feebleness, and sickness, are forced to keep pace with the rest of the gang. The drivers, armed with pistols, dirks, and long whips, ride alongside and in rear of the procession, whipping up the loiterers, and driving on at a merciless rate. As if to inflict the utmost humiliation upon the slaves, and to show their defiance of what remains of humane feeling in the community, the drivers take the most public and frequented highways, leading through the chief cities and towns of the slaveholding states. But the spectacle of a chained coffle of human beings attracts but little more attention than a drove of sheep or swine. An expression of indignant abhorrence on such an occasion would scarcely be tolerated in a slave state; and the publication of any such sentiments few editors would have the hardihood, if they had the heart, to make.

We will give some descriptions of the slave coffles in the language of eye witnesses. The Rev. Mr. Dickey, a Presbyterian clergyman, a native of South Carolina, and formerly a slaveholder, thus describes a coffle he met on the road, near Paris, Kentucky :

” I discovered about forty black men, all chained together in the following manner : each of them was handcuffed, and they were arranged in rank and file ; a chain, perhaps forty feet long, was stretched between two ranks, to which short chains were joined, which connected with the handcuffs. Behind them were, I suppose, thirty women^ in double rank, the couples tied hand to hand”

Hon. J. K. Paulding, the present secretary of the United States navy, gives the following picture of a scene he witnessed in Virginia:

” The sun was shining out very hot, and in turning an angle of the road we encountered the following group : first, a little cart drawn by one horse, in which five or six half-naked black children were tumbled like pigs together. The cart had no covering, and they seemed to have been actually broiled to sleep. Behind the cart, marched three black women, with head, neck, and breasts uncovered, and without shoes or stockings; next came three men, bare-headed, half-naked, and chained together with an ox-chain. Last of all came a white man, on horseback, carrying pistols in his belt, and who, as we passed him, had the impudence to look us in the face without blushing. I should like to have seen him hunted by blood-hounds. At a house where we stopped, a little further on, we learned that he had bought these miserable beings in Maryland, and was marching them in this manner to ‘some of the more southern states. Shame on the state of Maryland ! I say ; and shame on the state of Virginia! And every state through which this wretched cavalcade was permitted to pass ! Do they expect that such exhibitions will not dishonour them in the eyes of strangers, however they may he reconciled to them by education and habit ?”*

We next quote from ” American Slavery as it is,” beginning on the sixty-ninth page.

” The following statement is made by a young man from western Virginia. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and a student in Marietta (Ohio) College. All that prevents the introduction of his name, is the peril to his life, which would probably be the consequence on his return to Virginia. His character for integrity and veracity is above suspicion:

” On the night of the great meteoric shower, in November, 1833, I was at Remley’s tavern, twelve miles west of Lewisburgh, Greenbriar county, Virginia. A drove of fifty or sixty negroes stopped at the same place that night. They usually ‘ camp out,’ Qthat is, sleep in the open air, or under tents] but as it was excessively muddy, they were permitted to come into the house. So far as my knowledge extends, ‘ droves’ on their way to the south eat but twice a day, early in the morning and at night. Their supper was a compound of ‘ potatoes and meal,’ and was, without exception, the dirtiest, blackest looking mess I ever saw. I remarked at the time that the food was not as clean, in appearance, as that which was given to a drove of hogs, the night before, at the same house. Such as it was, however, a black woman brought it on her head, in a tray or trough two and a half feet long, where the men and women were promiscuously herded. The slaves rushed up and seized it from the trough in handfuls, before the woman could take it off her head. They jumped at it as if half-famished.

They slept on the floor of the room which they were permitted to occupy, lying in every form imaginable, males and females promiscuously. They were so thick on the floor, that in passing through the room it was necessary to step over them.

” There were three drivers, one of whom stayed in the room to watch the drove, and the other two slept in an adjoining room. Each of the latter took a female from the drove to lodge with him, as is the common practice with the drivers. There is no doubt about this particular instance, for they were seen together. The mud was so thick on the floor where this drove slept, that it was necessary to take a shovel the next morning and clear it out. Six or eight in this drove were chained ; all were for the south.

” In the autumn of the same year, I saw a drove of more than a hundred ; between forty and fifty of them were fastened to one chain, the links being made of iron rods as thick in diameter as a man’s little finger. This drove was bound westward, to the Ohio river, to be shipped to the south. I have seen many droves, and more or less in each, almost without exception, were chained. They generally appear extremely dejected. I have seen, in the course of five years, on the road near where I reside, twelve or fifteen droves at least, passing to the south. They would average forty in each drove. Near the first of January,
1834, I started about sunrise to go to Lewisburgh. It was a bitter cold morning. I met a drove of negroes, thirty or forty in number, remarkably ragged and destitute of clothing. One little boy particularly excited my sympathy. He was some distance behind the” others, not being able to keep up with the rest. Although he was shivering with cold, and crying, the driver was pushing him up in a trot to overtake the main
gang. All of them looked as if they were half-frozen.”

From page 72 of the same work we extract the following testimony of Col. Thomas Rogers, of Highland County, Ohio, a native of Kentucky:

” In the winter of 1828-29, I travelled through part of the states of Maryland and Virginia, to Baltimore. At Frost Town, on the national road, I put up for the night. Soon after there came in a slaver, with his drove of slaves ; among them were two young men chained together. The bar-room was assigned to them for their place of lodging ; those in chains were guarded when they had to go out. I asked the ‘ owner why he kept these men chained ; he replied, that they were stout young fellows, and should they rebel, he and his son would not be able to manage them. I then left the room, and shortly after heard a scream, and when the landlady inquired the cause, the slaver coolly told her not to trouble herself, he was only chastising one of his women. It appeared that three days previously her child had died on the road, and been thrown into a hole or crevice in the mountain, and a few stones thrown over it ; and the mother, weeping for her child, was chastised by her master, and told by him ‘ she should have something to cry for.’ The name of this man I can give if called for.”

The subjoined “testimony of a Virginian” is from page 76.

” About five years ago, I remember to have passed in a single day four droves of slaves for the south-west ; the largest drove had three hundred and fifty slaves, and the smallest upwards of two hundred. I counted sixty-eight or seventy in a single coffle ! The coffle ckain is a chain fastened at one end to the centre of the bar of a pair of handcuffs, which are fastened to the right wrist of one, and the left wrist of another slave, they standing abreast and the chain between them. These are the head of the coffle. The other end of the chain is passed through a ring in the bolt of the next handcuffs, and the slaves being manacled thus, two and two together, walk up, and the coffle-chain is passed, and they go up towards the head of the coffle. I have seen hundreds of droves and chain-coffles of this description, and every coffle was a scene of misery and woe, of tears and brokenness of heart.”

We next give the testimony of Rev. Marius R. Robinson, of Ohio, extracted from the “Anti-Slavery Manual,” page 112.

” In the emigration they suffer great hardships. Those who are driven down hy land travel from two hundred to a thousand miles on foot, through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. They sometimes carry heavy chains the whole distance. These chains are very massive ; they extend from the hands to the feet, being fastened to the wrists and ankles by an iron ring around each. When chained, every slave carries two chains, i. e. one from each hand to each foot. A waggon, in which rides ‘ the driver/ carrying coarse provisions and a few tent-coverings, generally accompanies the drove. Men, women, and children, some of the latter very young, walk near the waggon ; and if, through fatigue or sickness, they falter, the application of the whip reminds them that they are slaves. They encamp out at night ; their bed consists of a small blanket. Even this is frequently denied them. A rude tent covers them, scarcely sufficient to keep off the dew or frost, much less the rain. They frequently remain in this situation several weeks, in the neighborhood of some slavetrading village. The slaves are subject, while on their journeys, to severe sickness. On such occasions the drivers manifest much anxiety lest they should lose their property. But even sickness does not prevent them from hurrying on their victims to market. Sick, faint, or weary, the slave knows no relief. In the Choctaw nation, my informant met a large company of these miserable beings, following a waggon at some distance. From their appearance, being mostly females and children, and hence not so marketable, he supposed they must belong to some planter who was emigrating southward. He inquired if this was so, and if their master was taking them home. A woman, in tones of mellow despair, answered him ; ‘ Oh, no, sir, we are not going home. We don’t’ know where we are going. The speculators have got us'”
We cannot close these extended extracts without giving the accounts respectively of a man and a woman who were driven to the south in coffles, and afterwards, through the providence of God, escaped to tell the story of their sufferings.

We quote first from the thrilling ” Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Charles Ball,”—for forty years a slave, p. 36.

” My purchaser ordered me to cross my hands behind, which were quickly bound with a strong cord, and he then told me that we must set out that very day for the south. I asked him if I could not be permitted to go to see my wife and children, or if this could not be permitted, if they might not have leave to come and see me ; but was told that I might be able to get another wife in Georgia.

” My new master, whose name I did not hear, took me that same day across the Patuxent, where I joined fifty-one other slaves, whom he had bought in Maryland ; thirty-two of these were men, and nineteen were women. The women were merely tied together with a rope, about the size of a bed cord, which was tied like a halter around the neck of each ; but the men, of whom I was the stoutest and strongest, were very differently caparisoned. A strong iron- collar was closely fitted, by means of a padlock, around each of our necks. A chain of iron, about a hundred feet in length, was passed through the hasp of each padlock, except at the two ends, where the hasps of the padlock passed through a link of the chain. In addition to this, we were handcuffed with iron staples and bolts ; with a chain, about a foot long, uniting the handcuffs and their wearers in pairs. In this manner we were chained alternately by the right and left hand ; and the poor man to whom I was thus ironed wept like an infant when the blacksmith, with his heavy hammer, fastened the ends of the bolts that kept the staples from slipping from our arms. After we were all chained and handcuffed together, we sat down upon the ground ; and here, reflecting upon the sad reverse of fortune that had so suddenly overtaken me, and the dreadful suffering which awaited me, I bitterly execrated the day I was born. I longed to die and escape from the hands of my tormentors ; but even the wretched privilege of destroying myself was denied me, for I could not shake off my chains, nor move a yard without the consent of my master.

” We were soon on the south side of the river, and taking our line of
march, we travelled about five miles that evening, and stopped for the night at one of those miserable public houses, so frequent in the lower parts of Maryland and Virginia, called ‘ ordinaries!

” At night we all lay down on the naked floor to sleep, in our handcuffs and chains. The women lay on one side of the room, and the men Tho were chained with me occupied the other. I slept but little this night, which I passed in thinking of my wife and little children, whom I could not hope ever to see again. I at length fell asleep, but was distressed with painful dreams. My wife and children seemed to be weeping and lamenting my calamity; and beseeching and imploring my master, on their knees, not to carry me away from them. My little boy came and begged me not to go and leave him, and endeavoured, as I thought, with his little hands, to break the fetters that bound me. I awoke in agony, and cursed my existence. I could not pray, for the measure of my woes seemed to be full, and I felt as if there was no mercy in heaven, nor compassion on earth, for a man who was born a slave.”

The narrative from which the above extract is taken, as may be inferred from the style, was written by a man of education, one who took the story from the lips of the slave, and clothed it in his own phraseology, The well-known character both of the writer and of the subject of the narrative, are ample vouchers for the truth and authenticity of the statements.

The subjoined account is of a female, who was free born, but kidnapped a few years since, and sent to the south in a coffle, chained to a man slave.

” Mary Brown, a colored girl, was the daughter of free parents in Washington city. She lived with her parents until the death of her mother ; she was then seized and sold. The following are the facts as she stated them :—One day, when near the Potomac bridge, the sheriff overtook her, and told her that she must go with him. She inquired of him, what for ? He made no reply, but told her to come along ;—he took her immediately to a slave auction. Mary told him that she was free, but he contradicted her, and the sale went on. The auctioneer soon found a purchaser, and struck her off for three hundred and fifty dollars. Her master was a Mississippi trader, and she was immediately taken to the jail. After a few hours, Mary was handcuffed, chained to a man slave, and started in a drove of about forty for New Orleans. Her handcuffs made her wrists swell, so that they were obliged to take them off at night, and put fetters on her ankles. In the morning her handcuffs were again put on. Thus they travelled for two weeks, wading rivers, and whipped up all day and beaten at night, if they did not get their distance. Mary says that she frequently waded rivers in her chains, with water up to her waist. It was in October, and the weather cold and frosty. After travelling thus twelve or fifteen days, her arms and ankles became so swollen, that she felt that she could go no further. Blisters would form on her feet as large as dollars, which at night she would have to open, while all day the shackles would cut into her lacerated wrists. They had no beds, and usually slept in barns, or out on the naked ground ; was in such misery when she lay down, that she could only lie and cry all night. Still they drove them on for another week. Her spirits became so depressed, and she grieved so much about leaving her friends, that she could not eat, and every time the trader caught her crying he would beat her, accompanying it with dreadful curses. The trader would whip and curse any of them whom he found praying. One evening he caught one of the men at prayer ; he took him, lashed him down to a parcel of rails, and beat him dreadfully. He told Mary, that if he caught her praying be would give her hell, (Mary was a member of the Methodist church in Washington) ! There was a number of pious people in the company, and at night, when the driver found them melancholy and disposed to pray, he would have a fiddle brought, and make them dance in their chains. It mattered not Row sad or weary they were, he would whip them till they would do it.

” Mary at length became so weak, that she could travel no farther. Her feeble frame was exhausted, and sunk beneath her accumulated sufferings. She was seized with a burning fever, and the trader, fearing he should lose her, carried her the remainder of the way in a wagon.

” When they arrived at Natchez they were all offered for sale, and as Mary was still sick, she begged that she might be sold to a kind master. She would sometimes make this request in presence of purchasers, but was always insulted for it ; and after they were gone, the trader would punish her for such presumption. On one occasion he tied her up by her hands, so that she could only touch the end of her toes to the floor. This was soon after breakfast ; he kept her thus suspended, whipping her at intervals during the day. At evening he took her down. She was so much bruised that she could not lie down for more than a week afterwards. He often beat and choked her for another purpose, until she was obliged to yield to his desires.

” She was at length sold to a wealthy man of Vicksburgh, at four hundred and fifty dollars, for a house servant ; but he had another object in view. He compelled her to gratify his licentious passions, and had children by her. This was the occasion of so much difficulty between him and his wife, that he has now sent her up to Cincinnati to be free.

” We have no reason to doubt the account of Mary, as given above. Her manner of relating it was perfectly simple and artless, and is here written out almost verbatim. We have also the testimony of a number of individuals who knew her at Vicksburgh ; they have no doubt of her integrity, and say that we may rely implicitly upon the truth of any statement which she may make.”—” Condition of the (free) people of colour in the State of Ohio” p. 26, &c.

The slaves in these coffles are so firmly secured by handcuffs and chains, that they seldom even attempt to rescue themselves. From one to three men, armed as usual, will drive a gang of hundreds in safety. It is not improbable, however, that difficulties occur more frequently than is commonly supposed. It would be surprising indeed if men and women, frenzied with the loss of their relatives, goaded to desperation by the lash of the driver, and knowing the frightful oppressions to which they were tending on the plantations of the south, would not rise, even in their chains, and crush their merciless tyrants. We find an account of one scene of this kind in a southern paper, Nile’s (Baltimore) Register, September 5, 1829.

“The internal Slave Trade.—A Portsmouth (Ohio) paper gives the details of a bloody transaction that occurred between a drove of negroes and their drivers, about eight miles from the above village, in the state of Kentucky. It appears that the negroes, sixty in number, were chained and handcuffed in the usual manner of driving these poor wretches, and that by the aid of a file, they succeeded in separating the irons which bound them in such a way as to be able to throw them off at any moment. In the course of the journey two of the slaves dropped their shackles and commenced a fight, when the wagoner, Petit, rushed in with his whip, to compel them to desist. At this moment every negro was found perfectly at liberty, and one of them, seizing a club, gave Petit a violent blow on the head, and laid him dead at his feet. Allen, who came to his assistance, met a similar fate from the contents of a pistol, fired by another of the gang. Gordon was then attacked, seized, and held by one of the negroes, while another fired twice at him with a pistol, the ball of which each time grazed his head, but not proving effectual, he was beaten with clubs, and left for dead. They then commenced pillaging the wagon, and, with an axe, split open the trunk of Gordon, and rifled it of the money, about two thousand four hundred dollars. Sixteen of the negroes then took to the woods. Gordon, in the meantime, not materially injured, was enabled, hy the assistance of one of the women, to mount his horse and flee ; pursued, however, by one of the gang on another horse, with a pistol. Fortunately he escaped with his life, barely arriving at a plantation as the negro came in sight, who then turned about and retreated. The neighborhood was immediately rallied, and a hot pursuit given, which we understand has resulted in the capture of the whole gang, and the recovery of the greater part of the money.”

Such are the several modes of transporting slaves to the south. On reaching the destined market, the slaves are kept in chains, and sometimes in close confinement, until the day of sale. During the interval they are exposed to the inspection of any who may wish to make purchases. Persons are urgently invited to call and make their own selections. Due time having been granted for these examinations, which are conducted with a minuteness, as disgraceful to the examiner, as it is humiliating to the subject, and the time and terms of sale having been made as public as newspaper advertisements and handbills could make them, the whole gang are knocked off one by one to the highest bidder. These human auctions furnish scenes which are beyond description—a fit winding-up of the horrible process which we have just now traced, step by step, to its tragical close. Here all the remaining ties of kindred, which survived the first sale and the ” middle passage,” are broken up for ever. Here, too, the last sentiments of manly respect and female delicacy, which may have outlived the indignities of breeder and driver, are tortured by brutal and licentious jests, cruel taunts, and shameful exposures of the person before an assembled multitude. The coarse cry of the auctioneer, the eager bidding of the emulous purchasers, the loud shout of the rabble at the ribaldry with which the crier intersperses his vociferations, the exulting laugh of the successful bidder, the guillotine fall of the auction hammer, the fiendish clutch of the new owners upon their trembling prey, the groans, shrieks, tears, and last embraces of the slaves, as they are torn violently apart by their several purchasers, form a mixture of wickedness and woe to be found nowhere else this side of perdition.

We quote some accounts of slave auctions given by eye-witnesses.

The description of a slave auction which immediately follows was furnished by Mr. Silas Stone, treasurer of Columbia County, New York. See “American Slavery as it is,” p.

“Mr. Stone witnessed a sale of slaves, in Charleston, South Carolina, which he thus describes in a communication recently received from him.

” I saw droves of the poor fellows driven to the slave markets kept in different parts of the city, one of which I visited. The arrangements of this place appeared something like our northern horse markets, having sheds, or barns, in the rear of a public house, where alcohol was a handy ingredient to stimulate the spirit of jockeying. As the traders appeared, lots of negroes were brought from the stables into the bar-room, and by a flourish of the whip were made to assume an active appearance. ‘ What will you give for these fellows ?’ c How old are they ?’ ‘ Are they healthy?’ ‘Are they quick?’ &c, at the same time the owner would give them a cut with a cowhide, and tell them to dance and jump, cursing and swearing at them if they did not move quick. In fact, all the transactions in buying and selling slaves, partakes of jockeyship, as much as buying and selling horses. There was as little regard paid to the feelings of the former as we witness in the latter.

” ; From these scenes I turn to another, which took place in front of the noble ‘ Exchange buildings,’ in the heart of the city. On the left side of the steps, as you leave the main hall, immediately under the windows of that proud building, was a stage built, on which a mother with eight children were placed, and sold at auction. I watched their emotions closely, and saw their feelings were in accordance to human nature. The sale began with the eldest child, who, being struck off to the highest bidder, was taken from the stage or platform by the purchaser, and led to his wagon and stowed away, to be carried into the country ; the second and third were also sold, and so until seven of the children were torn from their mother, while her discernment told her they were to be separated probably for ever, causing in that mother the most agonizing sobs and cries, in which the children seemed to share. The scene beggars description ; suffice it to say, it was sufficient to cause tears from one at least f whose skin was not colored like their own,’ and I was not ashamed to give vent to them.’

We quote the following description of a slave auction in Richmond, Virginia, from the ” Anti-Slavery Manual,” p. 116 :

” During my sojourn in the capital of Virginia (United States), I was a witness, for the first time in my life, of a scene as degrading to human nature, as productive of horror and disgust to the friends of humanity. The following advertisement having been inserted for several days successively in the newspapers:
“Monday next, at 9 A. m., at public sale, the slaves whose names follow, all negroes of the first quality, namely : Betsy, a negro-woman, twenty-three years of age, with her child Caesar, three years old : an excellent cook, washer, and ironer ; warranted healthy. Julia, a mulatto girl, aged thirteen, robust and active, a good field-laborer ; with the exception of a slight defect in the left eye, she is without fault. Augustus, a negro lad, six years of age, qualified to become an excellent domestic ; without defect. The aforesaid slaves will be sold without reserve to the highest bidder, and the purchaser will be able to obtain credit for two or even four months, upon good security;’

” I was anxious to be present at such a strange commercial transaction, and I was there punctually. In the midst of various articles exposed for sale, such as pots, pans, beds, chairs, books, &c. &c, were seated the unhappy slaves, all crowded together, and all, as one would imagine, appropriately clothed. The poor mother with her child in her arms was the first object that drew my attention. The auctioneer had placed her in such a manner, that she and her infant should be the first object seen by those who entered the market. The customers, as they entered, cast their eyes upon the group so worthy of pit)7
, to satisfy their curiosity, and examined them as if they were gazing at some chef d’oeuvre produced by the chisel of Canova. I could not help shuddering with indignation, in considering the indifference and gross rudeness with which these insensible men treat their slaves. Betsy was the only one who appeared to feel all the rigours of her situation ; her eyes remained constantly fixed upon her infant, and if she raised them for a moment, it was to obey the order of a purchaser, who wished, probably, to assure himself that they were strong enough to support labor by day and by night; but she had scarcely yielded to his injunction, ere they fell again upon the miserable infant which reposed on her bosom ; she even replied to all their questions without raising her eyes to the person by whom she was addressed.

” It was not the same, however, with the other slaves ; they smiled at every jest, and their large white eyes, like brilliants fastened to the foreheads, sparkled with joy at the gay conversation, and at the witty remarks of the gentlemen who had come hither with the intention of purchasing human beings at a fair price. But the moment of the sale approaching, and several persons were assembled in the hall, the crier invited them to come out, and upon a table placed before the door in the middle of the street, was exposed one of the slaves, who were for sale.

” Betsy and her child had the honor of figuring first. The crier stood upon a chair placed near. I discovered in the crowd a dozen negroes at least, who, passing at the time, were drawn by curiosity to approach, and appeared to follow with attention the progress of the sale. I could not forbear sympathising with the unhappy beings, in reading upon their countenances the interest with which their companions in misery inspired them. ‘ Let us proceed, gentlemen,’ cried the seller of human flesh, in a stentorian voice ; ‘ let us proceed : a woman for sale !’

” An excellent woman ; not a fault ! and a little boy in the bargain. How much for the mother and child—250 dollars ; very well, sir, 250 to begin. Some one has bid 250. Truly, gentlemen, they sell cattle for a larger price ; 250 ? look at these eyes, examine these limbs—shall I say 260 ? Thanks, gentlemen, some one has bid 260. It seems to me that I heard 275 ;—<-go on, gentlemen ; I have never sold such a bargain. How ! 280 for the best cook, the best washer, and the best dressmaker in Virginia ? Must I sell her for the miserable price of 280 ? 300 ; two gentlemen have said 300. Very well, gentlemen ; I am happy to see you begin to warm a little ; some one bid 310—310, going—330—335 340 —340, going ; upon my honor, gentlemen, it is indeed a sacrifice to lose so good a cook ; a great bargain for 340 dollars. Reflect upon it a little and do not forget there is a little boy in the bargain.’

” Here our auctioneer was interrupted in his harangue by one of his customers, a man whose appearance had inspired me, from the first moment, with a feeling of horror, and who, with the indifference and sang froid of an assassin, made to him the following observation : ‘ As for the negro child, it is good for nothing ; it is not worth a day’s nourishment; and if I have the mother, I will give away the child very quick; the first bidder will be able to have it at a cheap bargain’

” I glanced at the unfortunate mother, anxious to see what effect this barbarous proposal would have upon her. She did not speak, but a profound sadness was impressed on her countenance. The little innocent which she held in her arms, fixed his large eyes on her, as if saying, ‘ mamma, why do you weep V Then he turned towards the witnesses of this heart-rending scene, with an impression that seemed to ask, what they had done to his mother to make her weep so bitterly. No, never will this moment ever escape my memory; it has confirmed me for all my life in the horror that I already felt at this infamous traffic. The auction continued, and finally the crier, striking a heavy blow with a hammer, pronounced the award to Mr. — for 360 dollars. The victim descended from the table, and was led away by the purchaser. The other slaves were sold in the same manner as poor Betsy. Julia was sold at 326 dollars, and Augustus at 105. They both fell to the same individual who had purchased the former lot.”— Travels of Arforedsun.

Such is an imperfect view of the American internal slave trade; a system fraught with outrages, pollutions, and woes unutterable. The African slave trade itself was never so horrible. Every odious feature of the latter belongs to the American traffic, besides some peculiar to itself of surpassing enormity. This has been acknowledged by one of Virginia’s prominent statesmen, himself probably a slave-breeder. Thomas Jefferson Randolph, of Virginia, thus contrasts the American slave trade with the

” The trader receives the slave, a stranger in language, aspect, and manner, from the merchant who has brought him from the interior. The ties of father, mother, husband, and child, have all been rent in twain before he receives him, his soul has become callous. But here, sir, individuals, whom the master has known from infancy, whom he has seen sporting in the innocent gambols of childhood, who have been accustomed to look to him for protection, he tears from the mother’s arms, and sells into a strange country, among strange people, subject to cruel taskmasters.”

But what gives to the American slave trade its darkest atrocity is, that it enacts its tragedies on the soil of a republic, claiming to be the freest on earth. Its seat is the boasted home of freedom ; its strongholds are the pillars of American liberty ; its throne is the nation’s heart ; its minions are republican statesmen; its victims are native-born Americans. Amidst the galaxy of republican and religious institutions it has its sphere and its name. The aegis of republican law is its shield, and the flag of freedom its shelter. Having its main source at the seat of the national government, it pours thence a stream of blood, widening and deepening by a thousand tributaries from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee, till it rolls in a tide, vast as Mississippi’s, over the far south. It seeks no subterranean channels nor sequestered vales for a secret passage, but flows broadly under the sun-light of the nation’s favor, laving the wharfs of a hundred cities and the borders of a thousand plantations. Legal enactments lay no arrest upon it; public opinion rears no dams across it ; popular indignation neither checks its current nor turns it aside; but onward it flows forever— America’s favorite stream ; though from its bosom ascends one ceaseless wail of woe.

Should it be asked what is the character and standing in society of the men who are actively engaged in the slave trade, variously called l soul-drivers,’ ‘ slave traders,’ ‘ speculators, ‘we would reply that there are two classes of them, who are held in very different estimation by the community generally, though their characters and deserts are intrinsically the same.

One class is composed of the slave merchants, who have large establishments or factories in Washington City, Alexandria, Baltimore, Norfolk, Richmond, Petersburgh, &c, and keep slavers constantly plying between those ports, and Charleston or New Orleans. Their slave advertisements are blazoned in the most influential secular papers in the union, and to their service the national and state prisons are most obligingly devoted, when their private jails chance to overflow. These are men of large capital, and conduct the traffic on the broadest scale. They hold an honorable rank among the heavy capitalists and extensive merchants of our southern cities, and move in the highest
social circles.

The other class consists of the agents and pimps of these gentry, who are constantly scouring the breeding states to gather fresh supplies for the slave-prisons and slave-ships; and also of traders of limited capital, who buy up small gangs and drive their own conies. The latter class are generally despised even in the slaveholding states, and they are doubtless horribly base wretches of vile origin, and viler lives. That the traffic in which they are engaged is not the ground of their low estimation in the slave-breeding states is evident, from the fact that other men, much more largely concerned in the traffic, are nevertheless held in repute, as honorable merchants. This point is illustrated in the following extract from “American Slavery as it is,” p. 174:

” That they are not despised because it is their business to trade in human beings and bring them to market, is plain from the fact that when some c gentleman of property and standing,’ and of a c good family,’ embarks in a negro speculation, and employs a dozen * soul-drivers’ to traverse the upper country, and drive to the south coffles of slaves, expending hundreds of thousands in his wholesale purchases, he does not lose caste. It is known in Alabama, that Mr. Erwin, son-in-law of the Hon. Henry Clay, and brother of J. P. Erwin, formerly postmaster, and late mayor of the city of Nashville, laid the foundation of a princely fortune in the slave trade, carried on from the northern slave states to the planting south ; that the hon. H. Hitchcock, brother-in-law of Mr. E., and since one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Alabama, was interested with him in the traffic ; and that a late member of the Kentucky senate (Col. Wall) not only carried on the same business, a few years ago, but accompanied his droves in person down the Mississippi. Not as the driver, for that would be vulgar drudgery, beneath a gentleman, but as a nabob in state, ordering his understrappers..

” It is also well known that President Jackson was a • soul-driver,’ and that even so late as the year before the commencement of the last war, he bought up a coffle of slaves, and drove them down to Louisiana for sale.

” Thomas N. Gadsden, Esq., the principal slave-auctioneer in Charleston, S. C, is of one of the first families in the state, and moves in the very highest class of society there. He is a descendant of the distinguished General Gadsden, of revolutionary memory, the most prominent southern member in the continental Congress of 176*5, and afterwards elected lieutenant-governor, and then governor of the state. The rev. Dr. Gadsden, rector of St. Philip’s church, Charleston, now bishop of the diocese of South Carolina, and the Rev. Philip Gadsden, both prominent episcopal clergymen in South Carolina, and Colonel James Gadsden, of the United States army, after whom a county in Florida was recently named, are all brothers of this Thomas N. Gadsden, Esq., the largest slave-auctioneer in the state, under whose hammer, men, women, and children go off by thousands ; its stroke probably sunders daily, husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, perhaps to see each other’s faces no more. Now who supply the auctiontable of this Thomas N. Gadsden, Esq. with its loads of human merchandise? These same detested ‘ soul-drivers’ forsooth ! They prowl through the country, buy, catch, and fetter them, and drive their chained comes up to his stand, where Thomas N, Gadsden, Esq. knocks them off to the highest bidder, to Ex-governor Butler, perhaps, or to Ex-governor Hayne, or to the hon. Robert Barnwell Rhett, or to his own reverend brother, Dr. Gadsden. Now this high-born, wholesale soul-seller doubtless despises the retail ‘soul-drivers’ who give him their custom, and so does the wholesale grocer the drizzling tapster who sneaks up to his counter for a keg of whiskey, to dole out under a shanty in two cent glasses; and both for the same reason.’

There is one source of great wretchedness to the slaves of the breeding states, which may be appropriately introduced in this connexion. It is very frequently the case that slaveholders, having worn out their lands in the breeding states, remove to the newer and more fertile regions further south and west. We have already alluded to the stream of emigration, especially of the smaller slaveholders, from the older slave raising states. The annual number of these removals cannot be accurately stated. We have already seen, by an extract from the ” Wheeling (Virginia) Times,” that of one hundred and twenty thousand slaves removed from Virginia in the year 1836, two-thirds, or eighty thousand, were removed by the emigration of their owners. This, supposing each master to have on an average twenty slaves, would give four thousand emigrant slaveholders from the single state of Virginia, during the year 1836. This would be, however, too high an estimate for a series of years together ; still it enables us to form some conception of the extent of the emigration from the breeding states. Each emigrant slaveholder carries with him his gang of slaves. It is almost universally the case that the slaves of one master form their marriage alliances among the slaves of other masters. Consequently in nearly every instance of removal there is a sundering of slave families. Where an entire family goes unbroken, the bleeding fragments often are dragged along to the distant home. The only consolation that is offered to the heart-broken sufferers is, that they will find new partners—the bitterest mockery of their woe. Many facts might be given illustrative of the sufferings caused by these separations. We shall mention only the following, communicated by Rev. James A. Thorne, recently of Kentucky, who was an eye-witness of the scene:

” George and Jane were inhabitants of the same village, in the state of Kentucky, but belonged to different masters. They enjoyed, in an unusual degree, the confidence oftheir respective * owners’ ; who were men of the highest respectability in the community. George was the head man in his master s tannery, and Jane was the principal servant in her owner s establishment ; the first inn in the village. They had been married for a number of years, and had both among blacks and whites the credit of uncommon conjugal faithfulness. Both were professedly pious, and possessed more than ordinary education for slaves, being able to read fluently. Having lighter work and more indulgent masters than usually fall to the lot of slaves, they knew comparatively little of the rigors of bondage. Sunday was uniformly at their own disposal, and mostly spent in each other’s, society. Every evening, the work of the day being finished, George was a punctual visitant at his wife’s room. For many years they lived in unbroken union, anticipating no fiery trials of violent sunderings. It is true they frequently witnessed the separations of husbands and wives, as the ‘soul-drivers’ went round upon their annual circuits of horror and desolation ; but they felt assured that their masters prized them too highly to sell them to the traders.

” But a dire calamity was preparing for them, and when finally it broke, with the suddenness of a summer s bolt, upon them, it scattered all their social joys for ever. Jane’s master had become embarrassed in his pecuniary affairs, and found it absolutely necessary to change his residence. He resolved upon going to the distant state of Missouri. The preparations for removal were almost completed, before Jane was informed of the design ; and with that information she also learned the determination of her master to take her along with him. Tn consternation she flew with the intelligence to her husband. “Without a moment’s delay, they together hastened to the wife’s ‘ owner,’ and prostrating themselves before him, besought that he would allow Jane to find herself a new master in the village. He finally yielded to their entreaties and tears, but set such an extravagant price upon her, that they felt little hope of finding any person who would be willing to give it. They applied first to George’s masters. He was willing to buy Jane, but objected to her master’s terms. Applications were made to several other citizens, all of whom had the same objection—the exorbitant price. They besought the master to consent to take less, but he was inexorable ; consequently the desired change of ownership could not be effected.

” Meanwhile the preparations for removal went forward, and the day of departure approached. The boat which was to convey the family down the Ohio river, lay at the wharf already loaded with the master’s effects. At last the morning of departure came. The family, accompanied from their dwelling by a numerous train of sympathising villagers, proceeded to the boat. With the other slaves, Jane walked immediately behind the family ; while George, not permitted to attend her, followed sadly and slowly in the rear of the company.

” The family entered the boat, but Jane threw herself upon the deck, a spectacle of agony. Upon the beach near by, George stood with his arms folded before him ; not a groan broke from his lips, nor a tear from his eye, but there were in his fixed countenance and statue -like form the more eloquent tokens of a grief too deep for utterance. Shortly the cables are drawn, and the boat* is drifting down the rapid stream. As long as the receding objects can be discerned, Jane sits motionless upon the deck, and George as moveless stands upon the beach, each gazing upon the other until distance closes the view for ever. What then became of the ill-fated Jane I know not, but my eye followed George as he turned silent and alone, and with down-cast eyes, and arms still folded upon his breast, walked homeward a widowed man.”


Ninth Question. What are the features of slavery in the consuming states ?

This inquiry opens before us a field so vast, and crowded with such multiform scenes of horror, that both time and heart would fail us in the attempt thoroughly to explore it. We can barely sketch some of the prominent features which glare upon us from every point of observation.

There are three principal conditions or modes of slavery in the United States. The first is that where, on account of exhausted lands, slave labor is unprofitable, and the master resorts to slavebreeding and selling to make his slaves a source of profit. This condition has been already described in the reply to the seventh query.

The second condition, is that of domestic slavery, including every species of house and family servants. This condition exists wherever slavery is found. Few of any class or profession in the slave states dispense with domestic slaves. Not to have from one to a dozen is almost certainly to forfeit caste in a slaveholding state ; and, what is a more serious consequence, it is to be without servants altogether, for where slaves are the domestics free persons think it a degradation to be such.

The third condition is plantation slavery, or that where large bodies of slaves are employed in the cultivation of lucrative products, and- where labor consequently is profitable. This condition differs widely from the two former. It is a system of productive industry, in which respect it differs from the first condition; and it congregates large numbers under the same management, thus differing from domestic slavery. These are not the only points of contrast. It is necessary to discriminate between these conditions, if we would form a correct idea of American slavery as a whole ; and for want of such discrimination, there has been interminable confusion. Some have considered slavery only in its first form, others only in the second,—the mildest of all,—others in the third only ; while others still have viewed it, as every one should, in all its conditions. These totally different observations of slavery have, to some extent, given rise to disputes between the abolitionists on one hand, and the pro-slavery class on the other, respecting the treatment of slaves ; and it is plain that such disputes must be perpetual, unless the disputants will agree to look at the same aspects of slavery. It is the domestic condition which the apologists have in their eye, when they deny the representations of the abolitionists ; whereas the latter usually describe plantation slavery, the very condition of which the apologist (who if he has ever been in the south has been there as the planter’s parlour guest, and that but for a few days) is most likely to be ignorant.

Now while the abolitionists contend that even domestic slavery is vastly worse than pro-slavery writers represent it, still they maintain that it is so different from plantation slavery, as to furnish little data for judging of the latter. But in forming an opinion of slavery in the consuming states, which of these two conditions should be chiefly considered ? Surely that which embraces the largest number of slaves ; and, at least, nine tenths of the slaves in the planting states are preedials.

But plantation slavery has still stronger claims to special notice, because it gives to the whole system of slavery its importance and permanence. Lop off this branch, and the whole tree dies. Domestic slavery cannot stand alone. It was that form chiefly which existed in the now free states, and so feeble was its hold on life that its extinction required scarcely an effort. What is it that has given to American slavery its gigantic form and mighty sway ? What is it that has reared about it such massive walls and impregnable towers ? What is it that has transformed it in a few years from an abhorred system, into a venerated ” institution,” too sacred to be spoken against with impunity ? It is the alliance which has been formed in the planting states between slavery and cotton, by virtue of which the most profitable and abundant staple which our country produces is made dependent for its culture exclusively upon slave labor.

But plantation slavery puts in another claim to special attention: it actually sustains slavery in the breeding states. It has been seen that slavery could not exist in Virginia and the other breeding states, but for the large sales of slaves which are annually made to southern planters. Of course the American slave trade is likewise upheld by plantation slavery. So also is the African trade, so far as respects its market in the United States.

Plantation slavery therefore stands before us charged with the continuance of domestic slavery, slave-breeding, the American slave trade, and in part the African. Surely if pre-eminence in guilt can entitle any form of slavery to marked consideration, plantation slavery makes good its claim.

We feel warranted therefore in taking this condition of slavery as the basis of our remarks in reply to the question now before us. It has been observed that the features of slavery in the breeding states received their peculiar mould from the unprofitableness of slave labor. In the consuming states the reverse is true. The lands being fresh, and the products rich, slave labor is exceedingly productive. We do not mean to say that it is more so than free labor would be ; we merely state the fact that it is eminently productive. The grand pursuit of the southern planter is gain—gain on the broadest scale, and by the most rapid process of accumulation. The machinery of cotton and sugar cultivation is a means to this great end. To the same end the slave also is made a means, and his rights and interests are all pushed out of view by this huge overgrown interest which quite fills up the planter’s vision.

To increase the master’s wealth, the slave is driven night and day; and since his necessary supplies of food, clothing, and shelter are to be subtracted from the master’s gains, they are dispensed with the most niggardly hand. Every thread that can be spared from his back, every grain of corn from his mouth, and every item of convenience from his miserable hut, are rigorously withheld. In short there is not a jot or tittle of the slave’s comforts which can escape the all-grasping clutch of avarice. To describe plantation slavery in a single sentence, it is that system which degrades man not into property merely, but into an inferior species of property, whose worth consists in its fitness to procure that which is esteemed a far higher species of property — money.

Other principles, such as pride, anger, lust, and love of power, contribute to aggravate plantation slavery, but it is to avarice, we must look for its most horrid features,—to avarice, pampered and bloated by abounding wealth. Other causes operate occasionally and powerfully, but irregularly, in the infliction of evil upon the slave-—this uniformly, and by rule. The inflictions of anger are freaks, sudden outbreaks, frequent, it is true, and sometimes violent, but usually of short duration ; those of avarice, on the contrary, are habitual incessant and intense, toil, privations, and inflictions without measure and without end, and all relentlessly imposed for the’ acquisition of gain.

We shall now briefly trace the operation of this principle upon the slaves of the planting states. The leading policy is to open immense estates for sugar and cotton cultivation (chiefly the latter), and stock them, in planter phrase, with large gangs of slaves. The proprietorship by single individuals of thousands of acres, and half thousands of slaves, is quite peculiar to the planting states. This practice operates with extreme severity upon the slaves. The congregating of such numbers under the arbitrary control of one individual is eminently fitted to stimulate the fiercest passions, and transform the most humane, into monsters of cruelty. When a man has but a single slave, he is under few temptations to be cruel, and those few, are kept in check by a sort of personal attachment which masters often feel for a faithful body servant. But let the same man become the owner of a thousand slaves, and his situation is wholly changed. His love of power, before scarcely excited, is aroused to the energy of a master passion. In the multitude of its subjects it finds new scope and wider range. The temptations to exercise it have increased with the number of the slaves, while the restraints from personal attachment have in the same proportion diminished, or rather, wholly ceased to act. The result is, that the gentle master of the single slave, becomes the haughty despot of his little empire.

Again, the object of procuring so many slaves implies a condition of hardship and suffering. They are not bought, like the house servant, for light service, quickly done and allowing frequent intervals of leisure, but for severe unbending toil. They were not purchased as articles of convenience, but as beasts of burthen. A task is assigned them, interminable as the upheaving of Egyptian pyramids, the building of their masters’ fortunes ; a task which the insatiableness of avarice makes endless, and its remorselessness unutterably cruel.

Again, from so large a number being employed, the comfortable maintenance of the whole would require no small expenditure on the part of the master. This avarice cannot endure; consequently, all comforts are utterly denied the slaves, and even the law of their extremest necessities receives the most rigid construction..
From the foregoing considerations, it is plain that the policy of overgrown estates and large labouring forces bears with a crushing weight upon the slave. Indeed, a situation can hardly be conceived of, more fraught with suffering than that of a field slave in a numerous gang.

Another feature of the planting policy is to employ overseers, and arm them with every instrument of torture necessary to compel the utmost amount of labour. The planter, as lost to humanity as to honesty, not only denies his slaves just wages, but consigns them to the discretionary management of the vilest monsters that ever wore human form. ” Overseer” is the name which designates the assemblage of all brutal propensities and fiendish passions in one man. An overseer must be the lowest of all abjects, consenting to be loathed and detested by the master who employs him; and at the same time he must be the most callous of all reprobates, in order to inflict tortures, from the sight of which the planter himself sometimes recoils with horror. He must find his supreme delight in human torture; groans must be his music, and the writhings of agony his realisation of bliss. He must become that unspeakably vile thing, a scullion of avarice, wielding the clotted lash for another’s wealth, contented himself to receive a petty stipend as the reward of his execrable vocation. But a description of the southern overseer has already been drawn by a master hand, that of the Hon. Wm. Wirt, late attorney-general of the United States, a Virginian and a slaveholder.

” Last and lowest, a feculum of beings, called ‘ overseers”—the most abject^ degraded^ unprincipled race, always cap in hand to the dons who employ them, and furnishing materials for the exercise of their pride, insolence, and spirit of domination.”

Such is the monster to whose unlimited control the planter commits his hundreds of slaves. One injunction only is laid upon him, and that is, to make the largest crops possible. The planter himself generally resides at a distance from his estate, or if he lives upon it, rarely interferes with the management of affairs. He usually disregards the slaves’ complaints of cruelty, since to notice them, and interpose between the parties, would lessen the authority of the overseer, and hazard the reduction of his crops. Consequently, the slaves have, for the most part, no appeal from the outrages of a brutal overseer.

It is a dreadful reflection, moreover, that the overseer is strongly tempted to cruelty by appeals to his selfishness. His reputation is graduated by the amount of his crops. If they are large, his character is established, and his situation made permanent, with an increase of salary. But to make great crops he must drive the slaves. Besides, the wages of overseers are generally either in proportion to the crop which they raise, or a stipulated portion of the crop itself. Thus the overseer’s interest conspires with that of the planter to perpetuate a system of hard driving, which is carried out by the incessant application of the lash.

Nothing, therefore, can be plainer, than the inevitable certainty that the slaves in the planting states must be extreme sufferers. It is the result of the end which the planter keeps so steadily in view—gain. It is the result, likewise, of the means to which he resorts for compassing that end, viz. Large gangs of slaves, and “unprincipled” overseers. The employment of such monsters implies a purpose to drive and torture the slaves, and the fact that they are rarely if ever discharged for cruel treatment, though they frequently are for failure in hard driving, is testimony enough to the unswerving rigor with which that purpose is executed. We repeat it, suffering is a certain event to the field slave ; it is not a thing which may befall him, but which must. At least there is but one alternative— a serious diminution of the master’s crops, and charity herself could hardly suspect the planter of submitting to that alternative.

The ways in which the slaves suffer are almost innumerable: we can specify only those which are most prominent.

They suffer from being overworked, from hunger, from want of sleep, from insufficient clothing, from inadequate shelter, from neglect in the various conditions of feebleness and sickness, from lust, and from positive inflictions.

1. The slaves suffer from being overworked. It has been stated that hard labour was the object for which they were originally bought, and amassing wealth the end. Now, since the more labour (if within the limit of human endurance) the more wealth, overworking is in the planting states a matter of course; and since to the desire of wealth there is no bound, to the exactions of toil there will be no bound but human possibility. The feeling that would prevent the overworking of slaves in the cotton and sugar regions, would prevent all working of them; and, on the contrary, the feeling which consents to enslaving men at all will prompt to the most rigorous exactions from them.

But to demonstrate that the planting slaves are overworked, excessively so, we appeal to facts. In the ensuing part of our reply to the present query, we shall have occasion to make frequent quotations from ” American Slavery as it is,” a work which contains the most ample testimony on the several points just enumerated, and accompanies that testimony with the names of a ” thousand witnesses,” living in every part of the United States, both in the slave states and the free. If that testimony needed any confirmation besides its own vouchers, it would find it abundantly in the fact, that no person, north or south, has yet ventured to call it in question, though the work was published early in 1839, and has been circulated in every state of the Union. The following extracts are taken from the above-named work, pages 35—40.


” This is abundantly proved by the number of hours that the slaves are obliged to be in the field. But before furnishing testimony as to their hours of labor and rest, we will present the express declarations of slaveholders and others, that the slaves are severely driven in the field.




” A New Orleans paper, dated March 23, 1826, says,

” To judge from the activity reigning in the cotton presses of the suburbs of St. Mary, and the late hours during which their slaves work, the cotton trade was never more brisk.”

” Mr. George W. Westgate, a member of the Congregational church at Quincy, Illinois, who lived in the south-western slave states a number of years, says,

” The slaves are driven to the field in the morning about four o’clock, the general calculation is to get them at work by daylight : the time for breakfast is between nine and ten o’clock ; this meal is sometimes eaten’ bite and work,’ others allow fifteen minutes, and this is the only rest the slave has while in the field. I have never known a case of stopping an hour in Louisiana ; in Mississippi the rule is milder, though entirely subject to the will of the master. On cotton plantations, in cotton picking time, that is, from October to Christmas, each hand has a certain quantity to pick, and is flogged if his task is not accomplished ; their tasks are such as to keep them all the while busy.”

” The preceding testimony under this head has sole reference to the actual labour of the slaves in thefield. In order to determine how many hours are left for sleep, we must take into the account the time spent in going to and from the field, which is often at a distance of one, two, and sometimes three miles ; also the time necessary for pounding or grinding their corn, and preparing, over night, their food for the next day; also the preparations of tools, getting fuel and preparing it, making fires and cooking their suppers, if they have any, the occasional mending and washing of their clothes, &c. Besides this, as every one knows who has lived on a southern plantation, many little errands and chores are to be done for their masters and mistresses, old and young, which have accumulated during the day, and been kept in reserve till the slaves return from the field at night. To this we may add that the slaves are social beings, and that during the day silence is generally enforced by the whip of the overseer or driver.* When they return at night, their pentup social feelings will seek vent, it is a law of nature, and though the body may be greatly worn with toil, this law cannot be wholly stifled. Sharers of the same woes, they are drawn together by strong affinities, and seek the society and sympathy of their fellows ; even l tired nature’ will joyfully forego for a time needful rest, to minister to a want of its being equally permanent and imperative as the want of sleep, and as much more profound as the yearnings of the higher nature surpass the instincts of its animal appendage.

” All these things make drafts upon time. To show how much of the slave’s time which is absolutely indispensable for rest and sleep, is necessarily spent in various labors after his return from the field at night, we subjoin a few testimonies.

” Mr. Cornelius Johnson, Farmington, Ohio, who lived in Mississippi in the years 1837 and 1838, says :

” ‘ On all the plantations where I was acquainted, the slaves were kept in the field till dark ; after which, those who had to grind their own corn, had that to attend to, get their supper, attend to other family affairs of their own and of their master, such as bringing water, washing clothes, and be in the field as soon as it was sufficiently light to commence work in the morning”

” Mr. George “W. Westgate, of Quincy, Illinois, who has spent several years in the south-western slave states, says :

” ‘ Their time after full dark until four o’clock in the morning is their own ; this fact alone would seem to say they have sufficient rest, but there are other things to be considered ; much of their making, mending, and washing of clothes, preparing and cooking food, hauling and chopping wood, fixing and preparing tools, and a variety of little nameless jobs must be done between those hours’

” Philemon Bliss, Esq. of Elyria, Ohio, who resided in Florida in 1834 and 1835, gives the following testimony :

” After having finished their field labours, they are occupied till nine or ten o’clock in doing chores^ such as grinding corn (as all the corn in the vicinity is ground by hand), chopping wood, taking care of horses? mules, &c, and a thousand things necessary to be done on a large plantation. If any extra job is to be done, it must not hinder the ‘ niggers’ from their work, but must be done in the night.’

” W. C. Gildersleeve, Esq. a native of Georgia, an elder of the Presbyterian church at Wilkesbarre, Pa. says :

” ‘ The com is^ground in a handmill by the slave after his task is done. Generally there is but one mill on a plantation, and as but one can grind at a time, the mill is going sometimes very late at night.’

” We now present another class of facts and testimony, showing that the slaves engaged in raising the large staples are overworked.

” In September, 1834, the writer of this had an interview with James G. Birnie, Esq. who then resided in Kentucky, having removed with his family from Alabama the year before. A few hours before that interview, and on the morning of the same day, Mr. B. had spent a couple of hours with Hon. Henry Clay, at his residence near Lexington. Mr. Birnie remarked that Mr. Clay had just told him, he had been lately led to mistrust certain estimates as to the increase of the slave population in the far south-west—estimates which he had presented, I think, in a speech before the Colonization Society. He now believed that the births among the slaves in that quarter were not equal to the deaths—and that, of course, the slave population, independent of immigration from the slave-selling states, was not sustaining itself.

” Among other facts stated by Mr. Clay, was the following, which we copy verbatim from the original memorandum, made at the time by Mr. Birnie, with which he has kindly furnished us :”

‘ Sept. 16, 1834.-—Hon. H. Clay, in a conversation at’his own house on the subject of slavery, informed me, that hon. Outerbridge Horsey, formerly a senator in congress from the state of Delaware, and the owner of a sugar plantation in Louisiana, declared to him that his overseer worked his hands so closely, that one of the women brought forth a child whilst engaged in the labours of the field. Also, that a few years since he was at a brick-yard in the environs of New Orleans, in which one hundred hands were employed ; among them were from twenty to thirty young women, in the prime of life. He was told by the proprietor, that there had not been a child born among them for the last two or three years although they all had husbands!

“The preceding testimony of Mr. Clay is strongly corroborated by advertisements of slaves, by courts of probate, and by executors administering upon the estate’s of deceased persons. Some of those advertisements for the sale of slaves contain the names, ages, accustomed employment of all the slaves upon the plantation of the deceased. These catalogues show large numbers of young men and women, almost all of them between twenty and thirty-eight years old? and jet the number of young children is astonishingly small. We have laid aside many lists of this kind, in looking over the newspapers of the slaveholding states ; but the two following are all we can lay our hands on at present. One is in the ‘Planter’s Intelligencer/ Alexandria, La., March 22, 1837, containing one hundred and thirty “slaves ; and the other in the 6 New Orleans Bee/ a few days later, April 8, 1837, containing fifty-one slaves. The former is a ‘ Probate sale* of the slaves belonging to the estate of Mr. Charles S. Lee? deceased, and is advertised by G. W. Keeton, judge of the parish of Concordia, La. The sex, name, and age of each slave are contained in the advertisement, which fills two columns. The following are some of the particulars :

” The whole number of slaves is one hundred and thirty. Of these^ only three are over forty years old. There are thirty-Jive females between the ages of sixteen and thirty-three, and yet there are only thirteen children under the age of thirteen years !

” It is impossible satisfactorily to account for such a fact, on any other supposition than that these thirty-five females were so over-worked, or under-fed, or both, as to prevent child-bearing.

” The other advertisement is that of a ‘ Probate sale/ ordered by the court of the parish of Jefferson, including the slaves of Mr. William Gormley. The whole number of slaves is fifty-one ; the sex, age, and accustomed labors of each are given. The oldest of these slaves is but thirty-nine years of age : of the females, thirteen are between the ages of sixteen and thirty-two, and the oldest female is but thirty-eight—and yet there are but two children under eight years old !

” Another proof that the slaves in the south-western states are overworked, is the fact that so few of them live to old age. A large majority •of them are old at middle age, and few live beyond fifty-five. In one of the preceding advertisements, out of one hundred and thirty slaves, only three are above forty years of age ! In the other, out of fifty-one slaves, only two are above thirty-Jive ; the oldest is but thirty-nine, and the way in which he is designated in the advertisement is an additional proof, that what to others is ‘ middle age,’ is to the slaves in the south-west ‘ old age’ ; he is advertised as 4 old Jeffrey.’

” But the proof that the slave population of the south-west is so overworked that it cannot supply its own waste, does not rest upon mere inferential evidence. The Agricultural Society of Baton Rouge, La., in its report, published in 1829, furnishes a labored estimate of the amount of expenditure necessarily incurred in conducting ‘ a well regulated sugar estate/ In this estimate, the annual net loss of slaves, over and above the supply by propagation, is set down at two and a half per cent ! The late hon. Josiah S. Johnson, a member of congress from Louisiana, addressed a letter to the secretary of the United States” Treasury, in 1830, containing a similar estimate, apparently made with great care, and going into minute details. Many items in this estimate differ from the preceding, but the estimate of the annual decrease of the slaves on a plantation was the same—two and a half per cent !”

” The following testimony of Rev. Dr. Channing, of Boston, who resided some time in Virginia, shows that the overworking of slaves, to such an extent as to abridge life and cause a decrease of population, is not confined to the far south and south-west:

I heard of an estate managed by an individual who was considered as singularly successful, and who was able to govern the slaves without the use of the whip. I was anxious to see him, and trusted that some discovery had been made favourable to humanity. I asked him how he was able to dispense with corporal punishment. He replied to me, with a, very determined look, ‘ The slaves know that the work must be done, and that it is better to do it without punishment than with it/ In other words, the certainty and dread of chastisement were so impressed on them, that they never incurred it.

” I then found that the slaves on this well managed estate decreased in number. I asked the cause. He replied, with perfect frankness and ease, ‘ The gang is not large enough for the estate/ In other words, they were not equal to the work of the plantation, and yet were made to do if, though with the certainty of abridging life.

” On this plantation the huts were uncommonly convenient. There was an unusual air of neatness. A superficial observer would have called the slaves happy. Yet they were living under a severe, subduing discipline, and were overworked to a degree that shortened life”—Channing on Slavery, page 162, first edition.

” Philemon Bliss, Esq. a lawyer of Elyria, Ohio/who spent some time in Florida, gives the following testimony to the over-working of the slaves:

“‘ It is not uncommon for hands, in hurrying times, beside working all day, to labour half the night. This is usually the case on sugar plantations during the sugar-boiling season ; and on cotton, during its gathering. Beside the regular task of picking cotton, averaging of the short staple, when the crop is good, one hundred pounds a day to the hand, the ginning (extracting the seed) and baleing was done in the night. Said Mr. —-— to me, while conversing upon the customary labour of slaves” ‘I work my niggers in a hurrying time till eleven or twelve o’clock at night, and have them up by four in the morning/

“‘Besides the common inducement,—the desire ofgain, to make a large crop, the desire is increased by that spirit of gambling so common at the south. It is very common to bet on the issue of a crop. A. lays a wager, that from a given number of hands he will make more cotton than B„The wager is accepted, and then begins the contest ; and who bears the burden of it ? How many tears, yea, how many broken constitutions and premature deaths, have been the effect of this spirit ? From the desperate energy of purpose with which the gambler pursues his object, from the passions which the practice calls into exercise, we might conjecture many. Such is the fact, that in Middle Florida a broken-winded negro is more common than a broken-winded horse ; though usually, when they are declared unsound, or when their constitution is so broken that their recovery is despaired of, they are exported to New Orleans, to drag out the remainder of their days in the cane-field and sugar-house. I would not insinuate that all planters gamble upon their crops, but I mention the practice as one of the common inducements to ‘ push niggers/ Neither would I assert that all planters drive the hands to the injury of their health. I give it as a general rule in the district of Middle Florida, and I have no reason to think that negroes are driven worse there than in other fertile sections. People there told me, that the situation of the slaves was far better than in Mississippi and Louisiana ; and from comparing the crops with those made in the latter states, and for other reasons, I am convinced of the truth of their statements.’

” Dr. Demming, a gentleman of high respectability, residing in Ashland, Richland county, Ohio, stated to Professor Wright, of New York city—

” That during a recent tour at the south, while ascending the Ohio river on the steam-boat Fame, he had an opportunity of conversing with a Mr. Dickinson, a resident of Pittsburgh, in company with a number of cotton-planters and slave- dealers from Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi Mr. Dickinson stated as a fact, that the sugar-planters upon the sugar coast in Louisiana had ascertained, that as it was usually necessary to employ about twice the amount of labor during the boiling season, that was required during the season of raising, they could, by excessive driving day and night during the boiling season, accomplish the whole labour with one set of hands. By pursuing this plan, they could afford to sacrifice a set of hands once in seven years ! He further stated, that this horrible system was now practised to a considerable extent ! The correctness of this statement was substantially admitted by the slaveholders
then on board’

” The late Mr. Samuel Blackwell, a highly respected citizen of Jersey* city, opposite the city of New York, and a member of the Presbyterian church, visited many of the sugar plantations in Louisiana a few years since ; and having for many years been the owner of an extensive sugar refinery in England, and subsequently in this country, he had not only every facility afforded him by the planters for personal inspection of all parts of the process of sugar making, but received from them the most unreserved communications as to the management of their slaves. Mr. B. after his return, frequently made the following statement to gentlemen of his acquaintance :

“‘ That the planters generally declared to him, that they were obliged so to overwork their slaves during the sugar-making season (from eight to ten weeks), as to use them up in seven or eight years. For, said they, after the process has commenced it must be pushed without cessation night and day ; and we cannot afford to keep a sufficient number of slaves to do the extra work at the time of sugar-making, as we could not profitably employ them the rest of the year.’

” It is not pnly true of the sugar planters, but of the slaveholders generally throughout the far south and south-west, that they believe it for their interest to wear out the slaves by excessive toil in eight or ten years after they put them into the field.*

” Rev. Dr. Reed, of London, who went through Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland, in the summer of 1834, gives the following testimony:

” ‘I was told confidently, and from excellent authority, that recently at a meeting of planters in South Carolina, the question was seriously discussed, whether the slave is more profitable to the owner if well fed, well clothed, and worked lightly, or if made the most of at once, and exhausted in some eight years. The decision was in favour of the last alternative. That decision will perhaps make many shudder. But to my mind this is not the chief evil ; the greater a,nd original evil is considering the slave as property. If he is only property, and my property, then I have some right to ask how I may make that property most available!—Visit to the American Churches, by Rev. Drs. Reed and Matheson, vol. ii. p. 173.

” Rev. John O. Choules, recently pastor of a Baptist church at New Bedford, Massachusetts, now of Buffalo, New York, made substantially the following statement in a speech in Boston :

“ ‘While attending the Baptist triennial convention at Richmond, Virginia, in the spring of 1835, as a delegate from Massachusetts, I had a conversation on slavery with an officer of the Baptist church in that city, at whose house I was a guest. I asked my host if he did not apprehend that the slaves would eventually rise and exterminate their masters Why,’ said the gentleman, ‘ I used to apprehend such a catastrophe, but God has made a providential opening, a merciful safety valve, and now I do not feel alarmed in the prospect of what is coming’ ‘What do you mean (said Mr. Choules) by Providence opening a merciful safety valve? ‘ Why,’ said the gentleman, ‘ I will tell you : the slave-traders come from the cotton and sugar plantations of the south, and are willing to buy up more slaves than we can part with. We must keep a stock for the purpose of rearing slaves, but we part with the most valuable, and at the same time the most dangerous, and the demand is very constant, and likely to be so, for when they go to these southern states, the average existence is only five years !'”

” Monsieur C. C. Robin, a highly intelligent French gentleman, who resided in Louisiana from 1802 to 1806, and published a volume of travels, gives the following testimony to the overworking of the slaves there:

“‘ I have been a witness, that after the fatigue of the day their labours have been prolonged several hours by the light of the moon ; and then, before they could think of rest, they must pound and cook their corn; and yet, long before day, an implacable scold, whip in hand, would arouse them from their slumbers. Thus, of more than twenty negroes, who in twenty years should have doubled, the number was reduced to four or five !’

” In conclusion we add, that slaveholders have in the most public and emphatic manner, declared themselves guilty of barbarous inhumanity toward their slaves, in exacting from them such long continued daily labor. The legislatures of Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia, have passed laws, providing that convicts in their state prisons and penitentiaries ‘ shall be employed in work each day in the year except Sundays, not exceeding eight hours in the months of November, December, and January ; nine hours h\the months of February and October, and ten hours in the rest of the year.* Now contrast this legal exaction of labor from convicts with the exaction from slaves, as established by the preceding testimony. The reader perceives that the amount of time in which, by the preceding laws of Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia, the convicts in their prisons are required to labor, is on an average during the year but little more than nine hours daily ; whereas the laws of South Carolina permit the master to compel his slaves to work fifteen hours in the twenty-four in summer, and fourteen in the winter—which would be in winter from daybreak in the morning untilfour hours after sunset !”—See 2 Brevard’s Digest, 243.

” The other slave states, except Louisiana, have no laws respecting the labor of slaves, consequently if the master should work his slaves day and night without sleep till they drop dead, he violates no law!”

” The law of Louisiana provides for the slaves but two and a half hours in the twenty-four for ‘ rest !’—See Law of Louisiana, act of July 7, 1806, Martin’s Digest, 6. 10—12.”

2. The slaves suffer greatly from hunger. This is the certain consequence of the planting policy, as has been shown. To suppose an opposite effect would be wholly unreasonable.

From the following testimony it will be seen, that in respect both to the quantity and quality of food, the planters conform to the most rigid requirements of avarice.—-See “American Slavery as it is,” pages 28—31.



” William Ladd, Esq., of Minot, Me., president of the American Peace Society, and formerly a slaveholder of Florida, gives the following testimony as to the allowance of food to slaves :

” ‘ The usual food of the slaves was corn, with a modicum of salt. In some cases the master allowed no salt, but the slaves boiled the sea-water for salt in their little pots. For about eight days near Christmas, i. e., from the Saturday evening before, to the Sunday evening after Christmasday, they were allowed some meat. They always, with one single exception, ground their corn in a hand-mill, and cooked their food themselves.’

” Extract of a letter from Rev. D. C. Eastman, a preacher of the Methodist Episcopal church, in Fayette county, Ohio:

” ‘In March, 1838, Mr. Thomas Larrimer, a deacon of the Presbyterian church in Bloomingbury, Fayette county, Ohio, Mr. G. S. Fullerton, merchant, and member of the same church, and Mr. William A. Ustick, an elder of the same church, spent a night with a Mr. Shepherd, about thirty miles north of Charleston, S. C, on the Monk’s corner road. He owned five families of negroes, who, he said, were fed from the same meal and meat-tubs as himself, but that ninety-nine out of a hundred of all the slaves in that county saw meat but once a year, which was on Christmas holidays.’

” As an illustration of the inhuman experiments sometimes tried upon slaves, in respect to the kind as well as the quality and quantity of their food, we solicit the attention of the reader to the testimony of the late General Wade Hampton, of South Carolina. General Hampton was for some time commander-in-chief of the army on the Canada frontier during the last war, and at the time of his death, about three years since, was the largest slaveholder in the United States. The General’s testimony is contained in the following extract of a letter, just received from a distinguished clergyman in the west, extensively known both as a preacher and a writer. His name is with the executive committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society:

“‘ You refer in your letter to a statement made to you while in this place, respecting the late General Wade Hampton, of South Carolina, and task me to write out for you the circumstances of the case, considering them, well calculated to illustrate two points in the history of slavery : 1st. That the habit of slaveholding, dreadfully blunts the feeling toward the slave, producing such insensibility, that his sufferings and death are regarded with indifference. 2d. That the slave, often has insufficient food, both in quantity and quality.

” ‘ I received my information from a lady in the west, of high respectability and great moral worth, but think it best to withhold her name, although the statement was not made in confidence.

“ ‘ My informant stated, that she sat at dinner once in company with General Wade Hampton, and several others ; that the conversation turned upon the treatment of their servants, &c. ; when the General undertook to entertain the company with the relation of an experiment he had made in the feeding of his slaves on cotton seed. He said that he first mingled one-fourth cotton seed with three-fourths corn, on which they seemed to thrive tolerably well ; that he then had measured out to them equal quantities of each, which did not seem to produce any important change ; afterwards he increased the quantity of cotton seed to three-fourths, mingled with one-fourth corn, and then he declared, with an oath, that 4 they died like rotten sheep. !’ It is but justice to the lady to state, that she spoke of his conduct with the utmost indignation ; and she mentioned also that he received no countenance from the company present, but that all seemed to look at each other with astonishment. I give it to you just as I received it from one who was present, and whose character for veracity is unquestionable.”

“’It is proper to add, that I had previously formed an acquaintance with Dr. Witherspoon, now of Alabama, if alive, whose former residence was in South Carolina ; from whom I received a particular account of the manner of feeding and treating slaves on the plantations of General Wade Hampton, and others in the same part of the state ; and certainly no one could listen to the recital without concluding that such masters and overseers as he described must have hearts like the nether millstone. The cotton seed experiment I had heard of before, also, as having been made in other parts of the south ; consequently I was prepared to receive as true the above statement, even if I had not been so well acquainted with the high character of my informant.’”

” The legal allowance of food for slaves in North Carolina, is in the words of the law, ” a quart of corn per day.” See Haywood’s Manual, 525. The legal allowance in Louisiana is more, a barrel (flour barrel) of corn (in the ear), or its equivalent in other grain, and a pint of salt a month. In the other slave states the amount of food for the slaves is left to the option of the master.



” Testimony of Mr. George W. “Westgate, member of the Congregational church, of Quincy, Illinois. Mr. W. has been engaged in the low country trade for twelve years, more than half of each year, principally on the Mississippi, and its tributary streams in the south-western slave states:

” ‘Feeding is not sufficient,—let facts speak. On the coast, i. e. Natchez and the Gulf of Mexico, the allowance was one barrel of ears of corn, and a pint of salt per month. They may cook this in what manner they please, but it must be done after dark ; they have no daylight to prepare it by. Some few planters, but only a few, let them prepare their corn on Saturday afternoon. Planters, overseers, and negroes, have told me, that in pinching times, i. e. when corn is high,—they did not get near that quantity. In Mississippi I know some planters who allowed their hands three and a half pounds of meat per week, when it was cheap. Many prepare their corn on the Sabbath, when they are not worked on that day, which, however, is frequently the case on sugar plantations. There are very many masters on c the coast’ who will not suffer their slaves to come to the boats, because they steal molasses to barter for meat ; indeed they generally trade more or less with stolen property. But it is impossible to find out what and when, as their articles of barter are of such trifling importance. They would often come on board our boats to beg a bone, and would tell how badly they were fed ; that they were almost starved. Many a time I have sat up all night, to prevent them from stealing something to eat.’




” In determining whether or not the slaves suffer for want of food, the number of hours intervening, and the labor performed between their meals, and the number of meals each day, should be taken into consideration.


3. The slaves suffer from want of sleep. This has already been shown under a previous head, in connexion with the proof, that the slaves are overworked.

4. The slaves suffer from insufficient clothing. The kind, amount, and quality of clothing will appear in the following testimony:




” Advertisements like the following, from the ‘ New Orleans Bee, May 31, 1837, are common in the southern papers—

” ‘ 10 Dollars Reward.—-Ran away, the slave Solomon, about 28 years of age ; badly clothed. The above reward will be paid on application to Fernandez & “Whiting, No. 20, St. Louis-st.

” ‘ Ran away from the subscriber, the negress Fanny, always badly dressed; she is about 25 or 26 years old. John Macoin, 117, S. Annstreet.

” The Darien (Ga.) Telegraph, of Jan. 24, 1837, in an editorial article, hitting off the aristocracy of the planters, incidentally lets out some secrets, about the usual clothing of the slaves. The editor says,—’ The planter looks down, with the most sovereign contempt, on the merchant and the storekeeper. He deems himself a lord, because he gets his two or three ragged servants to row him to his plantation every day, that he may inspect the labor of his hands.’

” The following is an extract from a letter lately received from Rev. C. S. Renshaw, of Quincy, Illinois :”

‘ I am sorry to be obliged to give more testimony without the name. An individual, in whom I have great confidence, gave me the following facts. That I am not alone in placing confidence in him, I subjoin a testimonial from Dr. Richard Eells, deacon of the Congregational church, of Quincy, and Rev. Mr. Fisher, Baptist minister, of Quincy.

” ‘ We hare been acquainted with the brother who has communicated to you some facts that fell under his observation, whilst in his native state. He is a professed follower of our Lord, and we have great confidence in him as a man of integrity, discretion, and strict Christian principle.

“‘ Richard Eells.
“’ Ezra Fisher.

” ‘ Quincy, Jan. 9th, 1839.
” ‘ Testimony.—I lived for thirty years in Virginia, and have travelled extensively through Fauquier, Culpepper, Jefferson, Stafford, Albemarle, and Charlotte counties ; my remarks apply to these counties.

“‘ The negro houses are miserably poor ; generally they are a shelter from neither the wind, the rain, nor the snow, and the earth is the floor. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are only exceptions ; you may sometimes see puncheon floor, but never, or almost never, a plank floor. The slaves are generally without beds or bedsteads ; some few have cribs that they fasten up for themselves in the corner of the hut. Their bedclothes are a nest of rags thrown upon a crib, or in the corner ; sometimes there are three or four families in one small cabin. Where the slaveholders have more than one family, they put them in the same quarter till it is filled, then build another. I have seen exceptions to this, when only one family would occupy a hut, and where were tolerably comfortable bed-clothes.

” ‘ Most of the slaves in these counties are miserably clad. I have known slaves who went without shoes all winter, perfectly barefoot. The feet of many of them are frozen. As a general fact, the planters do not serve out to their slaves drawers, or any under clothing, or vests, or over-coats. Slaves sometimes, by working at night and on Sundays, get better things than their masters serve to them.

” ‘ Whilst these things are true ofjleld-hands, it is also true that many slaveholders clothe their waiters and coachmen like gentlemen. I do not think there is any difference between the slaves of professing Christians and others ; at all events, it is so small as to be scarcely noticeable.

” ‘ I have seen men and women at work in the field more than halfnaked: and more than once in passing, when the overseer was not near, they would stop and draw round them a tattered coat or some ribbons of a skirt, to hide their nakedness and shame from the stranger’s eye.’

” Mr. George W. Westgate, a member of the Congregational church in Quincy, Illinois, who has spent the larger part of twelve years navigating the rivers of the south-western slave states with keel boats, as a trader, gives the following testimony as to the clothing and lodging of the slaves:

“’ In Lower Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana, the clothing of the slaves is wretchedly poor ; and grows worse as you go south, in the order of the states I have named. The only material is cotton bagging, i. e. bagging in which cotton is baled, not bagging made of cotton. In Louisiana, especially in the lower country, I have frequently seen them with nothing but a tattered coat, not sufficient to hide their nakedness. In winter their clothing seldom serves the purpose of comfort, and frequently not even of decent covering. In Louisiana the planters never think of serving out shoes to slaves, In Mississippi they give one pair a year generally. I never saw, or heard of an instance of masters allowing them stockings. A small poor blanket is generally the only bed-clothing, and this they frequently wear in the field when they have not sufficient clothing to hide their nakedness or to keep them warm. Their manner of sleeping varies with the season. In hot weather they stretch themselves anywhere and sleep. As it becomes cool they roll themselves in their blankets, and lay scattered about the cabin. In cold weather they nestle together with their feet towards the fire, promiscuously. As a general fact, the earth is their only floor and bed—not one in ten have anything like a bedstead, and then it is a mere bunk put up by themselves.

” Mr. George A. Avery, an elder in the fourth Congregational church, Rochester, N. Y., who spent four years in Virginia, says, ‘The slave children, very commonly of both sexes, up to the ages of eight and ten years, and I think in some instances beyond this age, go in a state of disgusting nudity. I have often seen them with their tow shirt (their only article of summer clothing) which, to all human appearance, had not been taken off from the time it was first put on, worn off from the bottom upwards, shred by shred, until nothing remained but the straps which passed over their shoulders, and the less exposed portions extending a very little way below the arms, leaving the principal part of the chest, as well as the limbs, entirely uncovered.’

” Samuel Ellison, a member of the Society of Friends, formerly of Southampton county, Virginia, now of Marlborough, Stark county, Ohio, says, ‘ I knew a methodist who was the owner of a number of slaves. The children of both sexes, belonging to him, under twelve years of age, were entirely destitute of clothing. I have seen an old man compelled to labor in the fields, not having rags enough to cover his nakedness.’

” Rev. H. Lyman, late pastor of the Free Presbyterian church, in Buffalo, N. Y., in describing a tour down and up the Mississippi river in the winter of 1832—3, says, ‘ At the wood yards where the boats stop, it is not uncommon to see female slaves employed in carrying wood. Then- dress, which was quite uniform, was provided without any reference to comfort. They had no covering for their heads ; the stuff which constituted the outer garment was sackcloth, similar to that in which hrown domestic goods are done up. It was then December, and I thought that in such a dress, and being as they were, without stockings, they must suffer from the cold.’

“ Mr. Benjamin Anderson, Colerain, Lancaster county, Pa., a member of the Society of Friends, in a recent letter describing a short tour through the northern part of Maryland in the winter of 1836, thus speaks of a place a few miles from Chestertown. i About this place there were a number of slaves ; very few, if any, had either stockings or shoes ; the weather was intensely cold, and the ground covered with snow.

” The late Major Stoddard, of the United States’ artillery, who took possession of Louisiana for the U. S. government, under the cession of 1804, published a book entitled, ‘ Sketches of Louisiana/ in which, speaking of the planters of Lower Louisiana, he says, ‘ Few of them allow any clothing to their slaves!

“The following is an extract from the will of the late celebrated John Randolph, of Virginia:

” ‘ To my old and faithful servants, Essex, and his wife Hetty, I give and bequeath a pair of strong shoes, a suit of clothes, and a blanket each, to be paid them annually ; also an annual hat to Essex.’

” No Virginia slaveholder has ever had a better name as a ‘ kind master,’ and ‘ good provider’ for his slaves, than John Randolph. Essex and Hetty were favorite servants, and the memory of the long uncompensated services of those 4 old and faithful servants,’ seems to have touched their master’s heart. Now as this master was John Randolph? and as those servants were ‘ faithful,’ and favorite servants, advanced in years, and worn out in his service, and as their allowance was, in their master’s eyes, of sufficient moment to constitute a paragraph in his last will and testament? it is fair to infer that it would be very liberal, far better than the ordinary allowance for slaves.

” Now we leave the reader to judge what must be the usual allowance of clothing to common field slaves in the hands of common masters, when Essex and Hetty, the l old’ and 6 faithful’ slaves of John Randolph, were provided, in his last will and testament, with but one suit of clothes annually, with but one blanket each for bedding, with no stockings, nor socks, nor cloaks, nor over-coats, nor handkerchiefs? nor towels? and with
no change either of under or outside garments!”

5. The slaves suffer from inadequate shelter. The testimony under this head will show the master true to his master-passion —avarice. While he rears a stately mansion for his own family, and furnishes it with everything which can minister to ease, appetite, or pleasure, he thrusts his toil-worn slaves into miserable hovels, which betray within and around them even less regard for the comfort of the inmates than his stables.

For the following testimony see ” American Slavery as it is,” page 43:




6. The slaves suffer from neglect in the various conditions of feebleness and sickness incident to life. There are some in every community who are in a dependent condition, either from infirmity, disease, infancy, or age. By a most benign provision of the great Father of all, these helpless ones are usually provided for, by their family friends. This arrangement slavery utterly frustrates. The most vigorous, healthy, and industrious slaves have nothing beyond the mere supply of their necessities. But does the planter provide for those helpless beings, while he deprives their friends of the power to do it ? Does he take care of the infants whose mothers are denied the privilege of watching over them ? Does he tenderly supply to tottering age—induced, perhaps, prematurely by wasting toil in his own fields— those comforts which filial affection sighs in vain to provide ? Alas ! avarice and oppression have qualified the planter to be anything but a guardian and benefactor to his helpless poor. Their helplessness commends them not to his commiseration, but exposes them to his rage as not only unserviceable but burthensome.
One of the most revolting features of slavery is its neglect of the sick and dying. Kindness to the sick is a dictate of nature in its rudest state. It throws a halo of humanity around even savages. The bitterest enemies forget their hatred when disease makes its appeals to pity. The most deeply injured dismisses his long-cherished revenge at the bedside of his smitten foe, when sickness invades a dwelling, however humble, it calls thither the extremes of society to pour their mingled sympathies
into the cup of affliction ; and the distinctions of rich and poor,
high and low, are for once forgotten in the pervading sense of a
common humanity sharing a common lot. At the sight of a
human frame writhing in pain, whether stretched upon straw
and covered with rags, or reclining upon down and canopied with
embroidery,—the sternest heart is moved. But no slaveholder
sees a human being in his slave;—the planter has no heart of
sympathy for his suffering ‘ chattel’ : and the wretched slave
has only this consolation, that he is released for a season from
the tortures and the toils of bondage, from which sickness itself
is a welcome refuge.

We extract the following testimony from “American Slavery
as it is.” pp. 44—45.


” In proof of this we subjoin the following testimony :

” Rev. Dr. Channing of Boston, who once resided in Virginia, relates
the following fact in his work on slavery, page 163, 1st edition:

ie ‘ I cannot forget my feelings on visiting a hospital belonging to the
plantation of a gentleman highly esteemedfor his virtues, and whose manners
and conversation expressed much benevolence and conscientiousness.
When I entered with him the hospital, the first object on which my eye
fell was a young woman, very ill, probably approaching death. She was
stretched on the floor. Her head rested on something like a pillow ; but
her body and limbs were extended on the hard boards. The owner, I doubt
not, had at least as much kindness as myself ; but he was so used to see
the slaves living without common comforts, that the idea of unkindness
in the present instance did not enter his mind.

” This dyingyoung woman ” was stretched on thefloor”—” her body and
limbs extended upon the hard boards,”—and yet her master ” was highly
esteemed for his virtues,” and his general demeanour produced upon
Dr. Channing the impression of ” benevolence and conscientiousness.”
If the sick and dying female slaves of such a master suffer such barbarous
neglect, whose heart does not fail him, at the thought of that inhumanity,
exercised by the majority of slaveholders, towards their aged,
sick, and dying victims.

” The following testimonies furnished by Sarah M. Grimke, a sister
of the late Hon. Thomas S. Grimke, of Charleston, South Carolina.

“‘Whenthe Ladies’ Benevolent Society in Charleston, S. C, of which I
was a visiting commissioner, first went into operation, we were applied to for the relief of several sick and aged coloured persons ; one case I
particularly remember, of an aged woman who was dreadfully burnt from
having fallen into the fire ; she was living with some free blacks who had
taken her in out of compassion. On inquiry, we found that nearly all
the coloured persons who had solicited aid, were slaves, who being no
longer able to work for their ” owners,” were thus inhumanly cast out in
their sickness and old age, and must have perished, but for the kindness
of their friends.

” ‘ I was once visiting a sick slave in whose spiritual welfare peculiar
circumstances had led me to be deeply interested, I knew that she had
been early seduced from the path of virtue, asneaiiyall the female slaves are.
I knew also that her mistress, though a professor of religion, had never
taught her a single precept of Christianity, yet that she had had her severely
punished for this departure from them, and that the poor girl was
then ill of an incurable disease, occasioned partly by her own misconduct,
and partly by the cruel treatment she had received, in a situation
that called for tenderness and care.’ Her heart seemed truly touched
with repentance for her sins, and she was inquiring, ‘ What shall I do to
be saved T I was sitting by her as she lay on the floor upon a blanket,
and was trying to establish her trembling spirit in the fulness of Jesus,
when I heard the voice of her mistress in loud and angry tones, as she
approached the door. I read in the countenance of the prostrate sufferer,
the terror which she felt at the prospect of seeing her mistress.
I knew my presence would be very unwelcome, but stayed, hoping that
it might restrain, in some measure, the passions of the mistress. In this,
however, I was mistaken ; she passed me without apparently observing
that I was there, and seated herself on the other side of the sick slave.
She made no inquiry how she was, but in a tone of anger commenced
a tirade of abuse, violently reproaching her with her past misconduct,
and telling her in the most unfeeling manner, that eternal destruction
awaited her. No word of kindness escaped her. What had then roused
her temper I do not know. She continued in this strain several minutes,
when I attempted to soften her by remarking, that was very ill,
and she ought not thus to torment her, and that I believed Jesus had
granted her forgiveness. But I might as well have tried to stop the tempest
in its career, as to calm the infuriated passions nurtured by the exercise
of arbitrary power. She looked at me with ineffable scorn, and
continued to pour forth a torrent of abuse and reproach. Her helpless
victim listened in terrified silence, until nature could endure no more,
when she uttered a wild shriek, and casting on her tormentor a look of
unutterable agony, exclaimed, ‘ Oh, mistress, I am dying !’ This appeal
arrested her attention, and she soon left the room, but in the same spirit with which she entered it. The girl survived but a few days, and,
I believe, saw her mistress no more!
” Mr. George A. Avery, an elder of a presbyterian church in Rochester,
N. Y., who lived some years in Virginia, gives the following :

” ‘ The manner of treating the sick slaves, and especially in chronic
cases, was to my mind peculiarly revolting. My opportunities for observation
in this department were better than in, perhaps, any other, as
the friend under whose direction I commenced my medical studies enjoyed
a high reputation as a surgeon. I rode considerably with him in
his practice, and assisted in the surgical operations and dressings from
time to time. In confirmed cases of disease, it was common for the
master to place the subject under the care of a physician or surgeon, at
whose expense the patient should be kept, and if death ensued to the
patient, or the disease was not cured, no compensation was to be made,
but if cured a bonus of one, two, or three-hundred dollars was to be
given. No provision was made against the barbarity or neglect of the
physician, &c. I have seen fifteen or twenty of these helpless sufferers
crowded together in the true spirit of slaveholding inhumanity, like the
” brutes that perish,” and driven from time to time like brutes into a
common yard, where they had to suffer any and every operation and experiment,
which interest, caprice, or professional curiosity might prompt,
—unrestrained by law, public sentiment, or the claims of common humanity/

” Rev. William T. Allan, son of Rev. Dr. Allan, a slaveholder, of
Huntsville, Alabama, says in a letter now before us :”

‘ Colonel Robert H. Watkins, of Laurence county, Alabama, who
owned about three hundred slaves, after employing a physician among
them for some time, ceased to do so, alleging as the reason, that it was
cheaper to lose a few negroes every year, than to pay a physician. This
Colonal Watkins was a Presidential elector in 1836.

” A. A. Guthrie, Esq., elder in the Presbyterian church at Putnam,
Muskingum county, Ohio, furnishes the testimony which follows.”

‘ A near female friend of mine in company with another young lady,
in attempting to visit a sick woman on Washington’s Bottom, Wood
county, Virginia, missed the way, and stopping to ask directions of a
group of colored children on the outskirts of the plantation of Francis
Keen, sen., they were told to ask ‘ aunty, in the house/ On entering
the hut, says my informant, I beheld such a sight as I hope never to see
again ; its sole occupant was a female slave of the said Keen—her whole
wearing apparel consisted of a frock, made of the coarsest tow cloth, and
so scanty, that it could not have been made more tight around her person.
In the hut there was neither table, chair, nor chest—a stool and a rude fixture in one comer, were all its furniture. On this last were a little
straw and a few old remnants of what had been bedding—all exceedingly

” ‘ The woman thus situated had been for more than a day in travail,
without any assistance, any nurse, or any kind of proper provision—during
the night she said some fellow slave woman would stay with her, and
the aforesaid children through the day. From a woman who was a
slave of Keen’s at the same time, my informant learned, that this poor
woman suffered for three days, and then died—when too late to save
her life her master sent assistance. It was understood to be a rule of
his, to neglect his women entirely in such times of trial, unless they
previously came and informed him, and asked for aid.'”

“Rev. Phineas Smith, of Centreville, N. Y., who has resided four years
at the south, says : ‘ Often when the slaves are sick, their accustomed
toil is exacted from them. Physicians are rarely called for their benefit.

“Rev. Horace Moulton, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church
in Marlborough, Mass., who resided a number of years in Georgia, says:

” ‘ Another dark side of slavery is the neglect of the aged and sick.
Many, Avhen sick, are suspected by their masters of feigning sickness,
and are therefore whipped out to work after disease has got fast hold of
them ; when the masters learn that they are really sick, they are in many
instances left alone in their cabins during work hours : not a few of the
slaves are left to die without having one friend to wipe off the sweat of
death. When the slaves are sick, the masters do not, as a general thing,
employ physicians, but ” doctor” them, themselves, and their mode of
practice in almost all cases is to bleed and give salts. When women are
confined they have no physician, but are committed to the care of slave
midwives. Slaves complain very little when sick, when they die they
are frequently buried at night without much ceremony, and in many instances
without any ; their coffins are made by nailing together rough
boards, frequently with their feet sticking out at the end, and sometimes
they are put into the ground without a coffin or box of any kind.”

7. The slaves suffer from the outrages of lust. The misery endured
from this one source must be inconceivable. It is moreover
an evil to which every slave husband, father, and brother
is subject. There is not a wife, daughter, mother, or sister who
is not completely at the disposal of the master, the master’s sons,
and the overseer.

No husband can feel the least assurance that his own bed will
remain undefiled. The parents have no guarantee, that their daughters will reach the earliest years of womanhood, without falling’ victims to prowling lust.

Testimony on this point is quite superfluous.

8. The slaves suffer from innumerable inflictions. In the planting
states torture is the condition of labor. As the day brings its
toil so it brings its bloody inflictions ; from early dawn till dark
the sound of the lash is heard goading the wretches to their reluctant
task. Nor is avarice the only torturer. Anger also
makes its furious onsets, revenge deals its blows, passion wields
its scorpion lash, wounded pride plies its fiery torments, tyranny
inflicts its gaping wounds, and lust riots its unhallowed tramplings.
Every passion, set on fire of hell, rushes upon the defenceless

The following extracts from ” American Slavery as it is” constitute
but a small portion of the testimony and facts contained
in that work exhibiting the tortures inflicted upon slaves.


” The slaves are terribly lacerated with whips, paddles, &c. ; red pepper
and salt are rabhed into their mangled flesh ; hot brine and turpentine
are poured into their gashes ; and innumerable other tortures inflicted
upon them.

” We will, in the first place, prove by a cloud of witnesses, that the
slaves are whipped with such inhuman severity as to lacerate and mangle
their flesh in the most shocking manner, leaving permanent scars and
ridges ; after establishing this, we will present a mass of testimony, concerning
a great variety of other tortures. The testimony, for the most
part, will be that of the slaveholders themselves, and in their own chosen
words. A large portion of it will be taken from the advertisements
which they have published in their own newspapers, describing, by the
scars on their bodies made by the whip, their own runaway slaves. To
copy these advertisements entire would require a great amount of
space, and flood the reader with a vast mass of matter irrelevant to the
point before us ; we shall therefore insert only so much of each as will
intelligibly set forth the precise point under consideration. In the column
under the word ” witnesses,” will be found the name of the individual,
who signs the advertisement, or for whom it is signed, with his
or her place of residence, and the name and date of the paper, in which
it appeared, and generally the name of the place where it is published.
Opposite the name of each witness, will be an extract from the advertisement,
containing his or her testimony.




“The preceding are extracts from advertisements published in southern
papers, mostly in the year 1838. They are the mere samples of hundreds
of similar ones published during the same period.”


” The slaves are oftentortured byiron collars, with longprongs or ‘horns 7
and sometimes bells attached to them—they are made to wear chains
handcuffs, fetters, iron clogs, bars, rings, and bands of iron upon their
limbs, iron masks upon their faces, iron gags in their mouths, &c.

” In proof of this, we give the testimony of slaveholders themselves
under their own names ; it will be mostly in the form of extracts from
their own advertisements, in southern newspapers, in which, describing
their runaway slaves, they specify the iron collars, handcuffs, chains,
fetters, &c, which they wore upon their necks, wrists, ankles, and other
parts of their bodies. To publish the whole of each advertisement
would needlessly occupy space and tax the reader ; we shall consequently,
as heretofore, give merely the name of the advertiser, the name and date
of the newspaper containing the advertisement, with the place of publication,
and only so much of the advertisement as will give the particular,
proving the truth of the assertion contained in the general head.





” The foregoing advertisements are sufficient for our purpose, scores of
similar ones may be gathered from the newspapers of the slave states
every month.”


“The slaves are often branded with hot irons, pursued with fire arms and
shot, hunted with dogs and torn by them, shockingly maimed with knives
dirks, &c. ; have their ears cut off, their eyes knocked out, their bones
dislocated and broken with bludgeons, their fingers and toes cut off their
faces and other parts of their persons disfigured with scars and gashes,
besides those made with the lash. We shall adopt, under this head, the
same course as that pursued under previous ones,—first give the testimony
of the slaveholders themselves, to the mutilations, &c. by copying
their own graphic descriptions of them, in advertisements published
under their own names, and in newspapers published in the slave states
and, generally, in their own immediate vicinity. We shall, as heretofore,
insert only so much of each advertisement as will be necessary to
make the point intelligible.












” The reader perceives that we have under this head, as under previous
ones, given to the testimony of the slaveholders themselves, under their
own names, a precedence over that of all other witnesses. We now ask
the reader’s attention to the testimonies which follow. They are endorsed
by responsible names—men who ‘ speak what they know, and
testify what they have seen—testimonies which show, that the slaveholders
who wrote the preceding advertisements, describing the work of
their own hands, in branding with hot irons, maiming, mutilating, cropping,
shooting, knocking out the teeth and eyes of their slaves, breaking
their bones, &c, have manifested, as far as they ham gone in the description,
a commendable fidelity to truth.

” It is probable that some of the scars and maimings in the preceding
advertisements were the result of accidents ; and some may be the result
of violence inflicted hy the slaves upon each other. Without arguing
that point, we say, these are the facts ; whoever reads and ponders them,
will need no argument to convince him, that the proposition which they
have been employed to sustain, cannot he shaken. That any considerable
portion of them were accidental, is totally improbable, from the nature
of the case ; and is in most instances disproved by the advertisements
themselves. That they have not been produced by assaults of the slaves
upon each other, is manifest from the fact, that injuries of that character
inflicted by the slaves upon each other, are, as all who are familiar
with the habits and condition of slaves well know, exceedingly rare ; and
of necessity must be so, from the constant action upon them of the
strongest dissuasives from such acts that can operate on human nature.

” Advertisements similar to the preceding may at any time be gathered
by scores from the daily and week]y newspapers of the slave states. Before
presenting the reader with further testimony in proof of the proposition
at the head of this part of our subject, we remark, that some of
the tortu-es enumerated under this, and the preceding heads, are not in
all cases inflicted by slaveholders as punishments, but sometimes merely
as preventives of escape, for the greater security of their ‘ property.’
Iron collars, chains, &c. are put upon slaves when they are driven or
transported from one part of the country to another, in order to keep
them from running away. Similar measures are often resorted to upon
plantations. When the master or owner suspects a slave of plotting an
escape, an iron collar with long ‘ horns,’ or a bar of iron, or a ball and
chain, are often fastened upon him, for the double purpose of retarding
his flight, should he attempt it, and of serving as an easy means of detection.

” Another inhuman method of marking slaves, so that they may be
easily described and detected when they escape, is called cropping,
In the preceding advertisements, the reader will perceive a number of
cases, in which the runaway is described as ‘ croptj or a ‘ notch cut in
the ear,’ or a ‘ part’ or ‘the whole of the ear cut off,’ &c.

” Two years and a half since, the writer of this saw a letter, then just
received by Mr. Lewis Tappan, of New York, containing a negro’s ear
cut oif close to the head. The writer of the letter, who signed himself
Thomas Aylethorpe, Montgomery, Alabama, sent it to Mr. Tappan as 4a
specimen of a negro’s ears,’ and desired him to add it to his ‘ collection.’

” Another method of ‘marking slaves, is by drawing out or breaking off
one or two front teeth—commonly the upper ones, as the mark would in
that case be the more obvious. An instance of this kind is mentioned
by Sarah M. Grimke, of which she had personal knowledge; being
well acquainted both with the inhuman master, (a distinguished citizen
of South Carolina,) by whose order the brutal deed was done, and with
the poor young girl whose,mouth was thus barbarously mutilated, to furnish
a convenient mark by which to describe her in case of her elopement,
as she had frequently run away.

” The case stated by Miss G. serves to unravel what, to one un-initiated,
seems quite a mystery : i. e, the frequency with which, in the advertisements
of runaway slaves published in southern papers, they are described as having one or two front teeth out. Scores of snch advertisements are in southern papers now on our table. We will furnish the reader with a dozen or two.




“Were it necessary, we might easily add to the preceding list, hundreds.
The reader will remark that all the slaves, whose ages are given, are
young—not one has arrived at middle age ; consequently it can hardly
be supposed that they have lost their teeth feither from age or decay.
The probability that their teeth were taken out by force, is increased by
the fact of their being front teeth in almost every case, and from the fact
that the loss of no other is mentioned in the advertisements. It is well
known that the front teeth are not generally the first to fail. Further,
it is notorious that the teeth of the slaves are remarkably sound and serviceable,
that they decay far less, and at a much later period of life than
the teeth of the whites : owing partly, no doubt, to original constitution;
but more probably to their diet, habits, and mode of life.

“As an illustration of the horrible mutilations sometimes suffered by
them in the breaking and tearing out of their teeth, we insert the following,
from the New-Orleans Bee of May 31, 1837.

” Ten dollars reward.—Ranaway, Friday, May 12, Julia, a negress,
and the under ones are all broken. Said reward will be paid to whoever
will bring her to her master, No. 172, Barracks-street, or lodge her
in the jail.

” The following is contained in the same paper.

” Ranaway, Nelson, 27 years old,—’ All his teeth are missing.’

” This advertisement is signed by ‘ S. Elfer,’ Faubourg Marigny.”

To the preceding we subjoin a few testimonies from the same
work, respecting the hunting of slaves with dogs and guns. The
Rev. Horace Moulton, a minister of the Wesleyan Methodist
Church in Marlborough, Massachusets, who resided five years
in Georgia, gives the following testimony.

” Some obtain their living in hunting after lost slaves. The most common
way is to train up young dogs to follow them. This can easily be
done by obliging a slave to go out into the woods, and climb a tree, and
then put the young dog on his track, and with a little assistance he can
be taught to follow him to the tree, and when found, of course the dog
would bark at such game as a poor negro on a tree. There was a
man living in Savannah when I was there, who kept a large number of
dogs for no other purpose than to hunt runaway negroes. And he always
had enough of this work to do, for hundreds of runaways are never
found, but could he get news soon after one had fled, he was almost sure
to catch him. And this fear of the dogs restrains multitudes from running

” When he went out on a hunting excursion, to be gone several days,
he took several persons with him, armed generally with rifles and followed
by the dogs. The dogs were as true to the track of a negro, if
one had passed recently, as a hound is to the track of a fox when he has
found it. When the dogs draw near to their game, the slave must turn
and fight them or climb a tree. If the latter, the dogs will stay and
bark until the pursuers come. The blacks frequently deceive the dogs
by crossing and recrossing the creeks. Should the hunters who have no
dogs, start a slave from his hiding place, and the slave not stop at the
hunter’s call, he will shoot at him, as soon as he would at a deer. Some
masters advertise so much for a runaway slave, dead or alive. It undoubtedly
gives such, more satisfaction to know that their property is
dead, than to know that it is alive without being able to get it. Some
slaves run away who never mean to be taken alive. I will mention one.
He ran off and was pursued by the dogs, but having a weapon with him
he succeeded in killing two or three of the dogs; but was afterwards shot.
He had declared, that be never would be taken alive. The people rejoiced
at the death of the slave, but lamented the death of the dogs, they
were such ravenous hunters.”

Rev. Francis Hawley, who was for some years the general
agent of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, gives
the following testimony.

” Runaway slaves are frequently hunted with guns and dogs. / was
once out on such an excursion, with my rifle and two dogs. I trust the
Lord has forgiven me this heinous wickedness ! We did not take the

The following are taken from the same work, p. 159.

” The ‘ public opinion ‘ of slaveholders is illustrated by scores of announcements
in southern papers, like the following, from the Raleigh,
(N. C.) Register, August 20, 1838. Joseph Gales and Son, editors and
proprietors—the father and brother of the editor of the National Intelligencer,
Washington city, D. C.

” On Saturday night, Mr. George Holmes, of this county, and some of
his friends, were in pursuit of a runaway slave (the property of Mr,
Holmes) and fell in with him in attempting to make his escape. Mr.
H. discharged a gun at his legs, for the purpose of disabling him ; but
unfortunately, the slave stumbled, and the shot struck him near the
small of the back, of which wound he died in a short time. The slave
continued to run some distance after he was shot, until overtaken by one
of the party. We are satisfied, from all that we can learn, that Mr. H,
had no intention of inflicting a mortal wound.”

” Oh ! the gentleman, it seems, only shot at his legs, merely to e disable
‘—and it must be expected that every gentleman wrill amuse himself
in shooting at his own property whenever the notion takes him, and if
he should happen to hit a little higher and go through the small of
the back instead of the legs, why everybody says it is * unfortunate,’ and
the whole of the editorial corps, instead of branding him as a barbarous
wretch for shooting at his slave, whatever part he aimed at, join with the
oldest editor in North Carolina, in complacently exonerating Mr. Holmes
by saying, c We are satisfied that Mr. H. had no intention of inflicting
a mortal wound.’ And so ‘ public opinion ‘ wraps it up !

” The Franklin (La.) Republican, August 19, 1837, has the following’”

‘ Negroes Taken.—Four gentlemen of this vicinity, went out yesterday
for the purpose of finding the camp of some noted runaways, supposed
to be near this place; the camp was discovered about 11 o’clock;
the negroes four in number, three men and one woman, finding they
were discovered, tried to make their escape through the cane ; two of
them were fired on, one of which made his escape ; the other one fell
after running a short distance, his wounds are not supposed to be dangerous
; the other man was taken without any hurt ; the woman also
made her escape.’

” Thus terminated the mornings amusement of the ”four gentlemen*
whose exploits are so complacently chronicled, by the editor of the Franklin
Republican. The three men and one woman were all fired upon, it
seems, though only one of them was shot down. The half famished runaways
made not the least resistance,, they merely rushed in panic among
the canes, at the sight of their pursuers, and the bullets whistled after
them and brought to the ground one poor fellow, who was carried back
by his captors as a trophy of the ‘public opinion ‘ among slaveholders.

“In the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph, Nov. 27, 1838, we find the following
account of a runaway’s den, and of the good luck of a ‘ Mr. Adams,
in running down one of them ‘ with his excellent dogs.’

“‘A runaway’s den was discovered’on Sunday near the Washington
Spring, in a little patch of woods, where it had been for several months
so artfully concealed under ground, that it was detected only by accident,
though in the sight of two or three houses, and near the road and fields
where there has been constant daily passing. The entrance was concealed
by a pile of pine straw, representing a hog bed—which being removed,
discovered a trap door and steps that led to a room about six
feet square, comfortably ceiled with plank, containing a small fire-place,
the flue of which was ingeniously conducted above ground and concealed
by the straw. The inmates took the alarm and made their escape ; but
Mr. Adams’ and his excellent dogs being put upon the trail, soon ran
down and secured one of them, which proved to be a negro fellow who
had been out about a year. He stated that the other occupant was a
woman, who had been a runaway a still longer time. In the den was
found a quantity of meal, bacon, corn, potatoes, &c, and various cooking
utensils and wearing apparel.

” Yes, Mr. Adams’ c excellent dogs ‘ did the work! They were well
trained, swift, fresh, keen-scented, ‘ excellent ‘ men-hunters, and though
the poor fugitive, in his frenzied ruslffor liberty, strained” every muscle,
yet they gained upon him, and after dashing through fens, brier-beds,
and the tangled undergrowth till faint and torn, he sinks, and the bloodhounds
are upon him. What blood-vessels the poor struggler burst in
his desperate push for life—how much he was bruised and lacerated in
his plunge through the forest, or how much the dogs tore him, the Macon
editor has not chronicled—-they are matters of no moment—but his
heart is touched with the merits of Mr. Adams’ ‘ excellent dogs,’ that
4 soon ran down and secured* a guiltless and trembling human creature!

” The Georgia Constitutionalist, of Jan. 1837, contains the following
letter from the coroner of Barnwell District, South Carolina, dated Aiken,
S.C. Dec. 20, 1836.

” To the Editor of the Constitutionalist:—

“‘ I have just returned from an inquest I held over the body of a negro
man, a runaway, that was shot near the South Edisto, in this District,
(Barnwell,) on Saturday last. He came to his death by his own recklessness.
He refused to be taken alive—and said that other attempts
to take him had been made, and he was determined that he would not
be taken. He was at first, (when those in pursuit of him found it absolutely
necessary,) shot at with small^shot, with the intention of merely
crippling him. He was shot at several times, and at last he was so disabled
as to be compelled to surrender. He kept in the run of a creek
in a very dense swamp all the time that the neighbours were in pursuit
of him. As soon as the negro was taken, the best medical aid was procured,
but he died on the same evening. One of the witnesses at the
Inquisition, stated that the negro boy said he was from Mississippi, and
belonged to so many persons that he did not know who his master was,
hut again he said his master’s name was Brown. He said his name was
Sam, and when asked by another witness, who his master was, he muttered
something like Augusta, or Augustine. The boy was apparently
above thirty-five or forty years of age, about six feet high, slightly yellow
in the face, very long beard or whiskers, and very stout built, and a stern
countenance ; and appeared to have been a runaway for a long time.
” ‘ William H. Pritchard,
” ”Coroner (Ex-officio,) Barnwell Dist. S C
“The Norfolk (Va.) Herald, of Feb. 1837, has the following :

“‘ Three negroes in a ship’s yawl, came on shore yesterday evening, near
New Point Comfort, and were soon afterward apprehended and lodged
in jail. . Their story is, that they belonged to a brig from New York
bound to Havana, which was cast away to the southward of Cape Henry,
some day last week ; that the brig was called the Maria, Captain
Whittemore. I have no doubt they are deserters from some vessel in
the bay, as their statements are very confused and inconsistent. One of
these fellows is a mulatto, and calls himself Isaac Turner ; the other two
are quite black, the one passing by the name of James Jones and the
other John Murray. They have all their clothing with them, and are
dressed in sea-faring apparel. They attempted to make their escape,
and it was not till a musket was fired at them, and one of them slighthj
wounded, that they surrendered. They will be kept in jail till something
further is discovered respecting them,”

“The ‘St. Francisville (La.) Chronicle; of Feb. 1, 1839, give the following
account of a \negro hunt,’ in that parish.

“‘ Two or three days since a gentleman of this parish,in hunting runaway
negroes, came upon a camp of them in the swamp on Cat Island.
He succeeded in arresting two of them, but the third made fight ; and
upon being shot in the shoulder, fled to a sluice, where the dogs succeeded
in drowning him before assistance could arrive.

“‘ The dogs succeeded in drowning him’ ! Poor fellow ! He tried
hard for his life, plunged into the sluice, and, with a bullet in his shoulder,
and the blood hounds unneshing his bones, he bore up for a moment
with feeble stroke as best he might, but 4 public opinion’ succeeded
in drowning him, and the same 6 public opinion’ calls the man who
fired and crippled him, and cheered on the dogs, ‘a gentleman/ and the
editor who celebrates the exploit is a e gentleman’ also!’

” A large number of extracts similar to the above, might here be inserted
from southern newspapers in our possession, but the foregoing are
more than sufficient for our purpose, and we bring to a close the testimony
on this point, with the following :

” Extract of a letter, from the Rev. Samuel J. May, of South Scituate,
Mass. dated Dec. 20, 1838.
” ‘ You doubtless recollect the narrative given in the ‘ Oasis,’ of a slave
in Georgia, who having run away from his master, (accounted a very
hospitable and even humane gentleman,) was hunted by his master and
his retainers with horses, dogs, and rifles, and having been driven into a
tree by the hounds, was shot down by his more cruel pursuers. All the
facts there given, and some others equally shocking, connected with the
same case, were first communicated to me in 1833, by Mr. W. Russel,
a highly respectable teacher of youth in Boston. He is doubtless ready
to vouch for them. The same gentleman informed me that he was keeping
school on or near the plantation of the monster who perpetrated the
above outrage upon humanity, that he was even invited by him to join
in the hunt, and when he expressed abhorrence at the thought, the planter
holding up the rifle which be had in his hand said with an oath,
4 d—n that rascal, this is the third time he has run away, and he shall
never run again. I’d rather put a ball into his side, than into the best
buck in the land.’

” Mr. Russell, in the account given by him of this tragedy in the
4 Oasis,’ page 267, thus describes the slaveholder who made the above
expression, and was leader of the ‘ hunt,’ and in whose family he resided
at the time as an instructor ; he says of him—He was 4 an opulent planter,
in whose family the evils of slaveholding were palliated by every
expedient that a humane and generous disposition could suggest. He
was a man of noble and elevated character, and distinguished for his
generosity, and kindness of heart.

” In a letter to Mr. May, dated Feb. 3, 1839, Mr. Russell, speaking
of the hunting of runaways with dogs and guns, says :
‘ Occurrences of a nature similar to the one related in the 4 Oasis,’ were not unfrequent
in the interior of Georgia and South Carolina twenty years ago. Several
such’ fell under my notice within the space of fifteen months. In
two such ‘ hunts,’ I was solicited to join.'”

The subjoined extract is from a letter written from Natchez,
Mississippi, in 1833, to Arthur Tappan, Esq., New York. The
writer is a highly respectable clergyman. His name is withheld
because the publication would endanger his life.

” Not six months since, I saw a number of my Christian neighbours
packing up provisions, as I supposed for a deer hunt; but as I was
about offering myself to the party, I learned that their powder and balls
were destined to a very different purpose : it was, in short, the design of

the party to bring home a number of runaway slaves, or to shoot them
if they should not be able to get possession of them in any other way.”

The following is taken from the New York Commercial Advertiser,
of June 8, 1827.

” Hunting men with dogs.—A negro who had absconded from his
master, and for whom a reward of 100 dollars was offered, has been
apprehended and committed to prison in Savannah. The editor who
states the fact adds, with as much coolness as though there were no
barbarity in the matter, that he did not surrender till he was considerably
maimed by the dogs that had been set on him.”

We conclude our extracts under this head by a few additional
illustrations taken principally from ” American Slavery
as it is.”

” The following horrible transaction took place in Perry county, Alabama.
We extract it from the African Observer, a monthly periodical,
published in Philadelphia, by the society of Friends. See No. for August,

” ‘Tuscaloosa, Ala. June 20, 1827.

” ‘ Some time during the last week a Mr. M’Neilly having lost some
clothing, or other property of no great value, the slave of a neighbouring
planter was charged with the theft. M’Neilly in company with his
brother, found the negro driving his master’s wagon ; they seized him
and either did or were about to chastise him, when the negro stabbed
M’Neilly, so that he died in an hour afterwards. The negro was taken
before a justice of the peace, who waved his authority, perhaps through
fear, as a crowd of persons had collected to the number of seventy or
eighty, near Mr. People’s (the justice) house. He acted as president of
the mob, and put the vote, when it was decided he should be immediately
executed by being burnt to death. The sable culprit was led to a
tree, and tied to it, and a large quantity of pine knots collected and
placed around him, and the fatal torch applied to the pile, even against
the remonstrances of several gentlemen who were present ; and the miserable
being was in a short time burned to ashes.

“‘ This is the SECOND negro who has been THUS put to death,
without judge or jury, in this county.

” On the 28th, of April 1836, in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, a
black man, named Mcintosh, who had stabbed an officer, that had arrested
him, was seized by the multitude, fastened to a tree in the midst
of the city, wood piled around him, and in open day and in the presence
of an immense throng of citizens, he was hurned to death. The Alton
(111.) Telegraph, in its account of the scene says;

“‘ All was silent as death while the executioners were piling wood
around their victim. He said not a word, until feeling that the flames
had seized upon him. He then uttered an awful howl, attempting to
sing and pray, then hung his head, and suffered in silence, except in the
following instance :—After the flames had surrounded their prey, his
eyes burnt out of his head, and his mouth seemingly parchedjto a cinder,
some one in the crowd, more compassionate than the rest, proposed to
put an end to his misery by shooting him, when it was replied, ‘ that
would be of no use, since he was already out of pain.’ ‘ No, no/ said
the wretch, ‘ I am not, I am suffering as much as ever ; shoot me, shoot
me/ ‘ No, no,* said one of the fiends who was standing about the sacrifice
they were roasting, i he shall not be shot. 7″ would sooner slacken
thefire, if that would increase his misery ; ‘ and the man who said this
was, as we understand, an officer of justice !’

” The St. Louis correspondent of a New York paper adds,

“‘ The shrieks and groans of the victim were loud and piercing, and
to observe one limb after another drop into the fire was awful indeed.
He was about fifteen minutes in dying. I visited the place this morning,
and saw his body, or the remains of it, at the place of execution.
He was burnt to a crump. His legs and arms were gone, and only a
part of his head and body were left.”

“Lest this demonstration of ‘public opinion’ should be regarded as a
sudden impulse merely, not an index of the settled tone of feeling in
that community, it is important to add, that the Hon. Luke E. Lawless,
Judge of the Circuit Court of Missouri, at a session of that Court in
the city of St. Louis, some months after the burning of this man, decided
officially that since the burning of Mcintosh was the act, either directly
or by countenance of a majority of the citizens, it is ‘ a case which transcends
the jurisdiction,’ of the Grand Jury ! Thus the state of Missouri
has proclaimed to the world, that the wretches who perpetrated that unspeakably
diabolical murder, and the thousands that stood by consenting
to it, were her representatives, and the Bench sanctifies it with the solemnity
of a judicial decision.
” The ‘ New Orleans Post,’ of June % 1836, publishes the following:

” ‘ “We understand, that a negro man was lately condemned by the
mob, to be burned over a slow fire, which was put into execution
at Grand Gulf, Mississippi, for murdering a black woman, and her

” Mr. Henry Bradley, of Penyan, N. Y., has furnished us with an
extract of a letter written by a gentleman in Mississippi to his brother
in that village, detailing the particulars of the preceding transaction.
The letter is dated Grand Gulf, Miss. August 15, 1836. The extract is
as follows:

” I left Vicksburgh and came to Grand Gulf. This is a fine place
immediately on the banks of the Mississippi, of something like fifteen
hundred inhabitants in the winter, and at this time, I suppose, there are not over two hundred white inhabitants, but in the town and its vicinity there
are negroes by thousands. The day I arrived at this place there
was a man by the name of G-—— murdered by a negro man that belonged
to him. G was born and brought up in A , state of
New York. His father and mother now live south of A—-—. He has
left a property here, it is supposed, of forty thousand dollars, and no family.

“’ They took the negro, mounted him on a horse, led the horse under
a tree, put a rope around his neck, raised him up by throwing the rope
over a limb ; they then got into a quarrel among themselves ; some swore
that he should be burnt alive; the rope was cut and the negro dropped to
the ground. He immediately jumped to his feet ; they then made him
walk a short distance to a tree ; he was then tied fast and a fire kindled,
when another quarrel took place ; the fire was pulled away from him
when about half dead, and a committee of twelve appointed to say in
what manner he should be disposed of. They brought in that he should
then be cut down, his head cut off, his body burned, and his head stuck
on a pole at the corner of the road in edge of the town. That was
done and all parties satisfied!

” ‘ G owned the negro s wife, and was in the habit of sleeping with
her ! The negro said he had killed him, and he believed he should be
rewarded in heaven for it.

” ‘ This is but one instance among many of a similar nature.

S. S’
” We have received a more detailed account of this transaction from
Mr. William Armstrong, of Putnam, Ohio, through Maj. Horace Nye,
of that place. Mr. A. who has been for some years employed as captain
and supercargo of boats descending the river, was at Grand Gulf at the
time of the tragedy, and witnessed it. It was on the sabbath. From
Mr. Armstrong’s statement, it appears that the slave was a man of uncommon
intelligence ; had the over-sight of a large business—superintended
the purchase of supplies for his master, &c.—that exasperated
by the intercourse of his master with his wife, he was upbraiding her
one evening, when his master, overhearing him, went out to quell him,
was attacked by the infuriated man and killed on the spot. The name
of the master was Green ; he was a native of Auburn, New York, and
had been at the south but a few years.

” Mr. Ezekiel Birdseye, of Cornwall, Conn., a gentleman well-known
and highly respected in Litchfield county, who resided a number of
years in South Carolina, gives the following testimony :—

“‘ A man by the name of Waters was killed by his slaves, in Newbury
District. Three of them were tried before the court, and ordered
to be burnt. I was but a few miles distant at the time, and conversed
with those who saw the execution. The slaves were tied to a stake, and
pitch pine wood piled around them, to which the fire was communicated.
Thousands were collected to witness this barbarous transaction. Other
executions of this kind took place in various parts of the state, during my
residence in it, from 1818 to 1824. About three or four years ago, a
young negro was burnt in Abbeville District, for an attempt at rape.’

” In the fall of 1837, there was a rumour of a projected insurrection
on the Red River, in Louisiana. The citizens forthwith seized and
hanged nine slaves, and three free coloured men, without trial.
A few months previous to that transaction, a slave was seized in a similar
manner and publicly burned to death, in Arkansas. In July, 1835,
the citizens of Madison county, Mississippi, were alarmed by rumours of
an insurrection, arrested five slaves and publicly executed them without

” The Missouri Republican, April 30, 1838, gives the particulars of
the deliberate murder of a negro man named Tom, a cook on board the
steamboat Pawnee, on her passage up from New Orleans to St. Louis.
Some of the facts stated by the Republican are the following;

” ‘ On Friday night, about 10 o’clock, a deaf and dumb German girl
was found in the store-room with Tom. The door was locked, and at
first Tom denied she was there. The girl’s father came. Tom unlocked
the door, and the girl was found secreted in the room behind a barrel.
The next morning some four or five of the deck passengers spoke to the
captain about it. This was about breakfast time. Immediately after he
left the deck, a numberofthe deck passengers rushed upon the negro, bound his arms behind his back and carried him forward to the bow of the boat.

A voice cried out i throw him overboard,’ and was responded to from
every quarter of the deck—and in an instant he was plunged into the
river. The whole scene of tying him and throwing him overboard
scarcely occupied ten minutes, and was so precipitate that the officers
were unable to interfere in time to save him.

” ‘ There were between two hundred and fifty and three hundred passengers
on board.’

” The whole process of seizing Tom, dragging him upon deck, binding
his arms behind his back, forcing him to the bow of the boat, and
throwing him overboard, occupied, the editor informs us, about ten
inutes ; and of the two hundred and fifty or three hundred deck pas129
sengers, with perhaps as many cabin passengers, it does not appear that
a single individual raised a finger to prevent this deliberate murder ; and
the cry ‘ throw him overboard,’ was, it seems, i responded to from every
quarter of the deck !’

“A bare enumeration of the various modes of torture known to
be practised in the planting states, must convince the most incredulous,
that our picture of slaveholding cruelty has not
been overdrawn. In contemplating the following, it is difficult
to resist the conviction, that a more profound and malicious
cunning than belongs to mere man, has been employed in
contriving such a diversity of hellish torments to plague mankind
; at the same time we must confess that their invention displays
no more of the fiend than their application which is daily
made by beings wearing the form of men.

The slaves are suspended by the wrists, with their toes just
touching the ground ; their ankles having been tied, a heavy log
or fence rail is thrust between their legs. In this situation,
naked, they are flogged with a cow-hide# till their blood and bits
of mangled flesh stream from their shoulders to the ground.
Again, they are stretched at full length upon the earth, their
faces downwards, each of their wrists and ankles is lashed to a
stake driven firmly into the ground. Thus stretched so that
they cannot shrink in the least from the descending blows, they
receive sometimes hundreds of lashes on their naked backs. So
protracted is the flogging frequently that the overseer stops in
the midst of it to take breath and rest his tired muscles, only to
resume it with increased violence. In such cases the back of
the slave presents to the beholder one mass of clotted blood
and mangled flesh. Sometimes instead of lashing the ankles
and wrists to stakes, the overseer orders four strong slaves to
hold the victim. The persons selected to do this are sometimes,
through a refinement of cruelty, the relatives of the sufferer.
Again the slaves are stripped and bound upon a log, and in
this position they are tortured with heavy paddles bored full of
holes, each of which raises a blister at every stroke .* or infuriated
cats are repeatedly dragged backwards from their shoulders
to their hips. After either of the foregoing modes of lacerating
the flesh, spirits of turpentine, or a solution of salt, or cayenne
pepper, or pulverized mustard is rubbed into the bleeding
wounds to aggravate and prolong the torment.

Sometimes the slaves are buried to their chins in holes dug in
the damp ground, just large enough for them to stand erect with
their arms close by their sides. They are also fastened in the
stocks for several successive nights, being released during the day
for work, or confined both night and day. Instead of stocks,
the feet are sometimes thrust between the rails of the fence.

The slaves are beaten with heavy clubs over the head, arms,
shoulders, or legs. Walking canes are broken over their heads,
sometimes fracturing the skull, or causing permanent insanity,
or even death. In moments of passion the planter or overseer
seizes any instrument within reach, often prostrating the slave
at a blow ; and then stamps upon him till his fury is spent.
During these paroxysms of rage the slaves frequently suffer the
most frightful mutilations and fractures. Their limbs are broken,
joints dislocated, faces bruised, eyes and teeth knocked out,
lips mangled, cheeks gashed, ears cropped, slit, or shaved close
to the head, fingers and toes cut off; red hot branding irons
with the initials of their masters are stamped into the cheeks,
the fleshy parts of the thighs, and legs, and shoulders. They are
maimed by gun and pistol shots, and lacerated with knives.

Again : they are handcuffed, manacled, loaded with chains and
balls; iron yokes are fastened about their necks with long
prongs extending outward and upward, or meeting above the
head, where a bell is suspended.

They are punished by confinement in loathsome dungeons,
by starvation, by nakedness, by protracted watchings, by long
separation from their companions night and day,—as husband
from wife, by being forced to flog the naked bodies of their own
relatives,—as sons their mothers,—or fathers their own daughters.

Woman in her most delicate condition is subjected to humiliation
and suffering, by being driven, up to the day, and sometimes
to the moment of her delivery to labor with the promiscuous
gang, and to feel the overseers lash in case she lags behind.

When runaways are discovered and attempt to flee they are
fired upon, and maimed or killed. They are pursued by
trained dogs, which worry them and tear their flesh, not unfrequently
taking their lives. When retaken, though worn by
their struggles and faint with the loss of blood, they are attached
by a long rope to their master’s saddle, and furiously
dragged homeward, while an attendant, riding behind, plies the
bloody lash. They often fall dead on the road in the midst of these forced marches.


Tenth Question. What are the disabilities and disqualifications under which the people of colour labor ?

In a subsequent part of this document a number of pages are devoted to the subject of ” prejudice against colour,” in which the outrages perpetrated, upon our coloured fellow citizens by a ferocious public sentiment are drawn out in detail. We will therefore in reply to this query merely refer you to a pamphlet recently published by the American Anti-Slavery Society ” On the Condition of the free people of Colour in the United States.” The Pamphlet will be forwarded herewith.


Eleventh Question. How far are the professors of religion tacitly, or actively, implicated in the guilt of slaveholding, or any of its attendant evils?

The abolitionists of the United States have always insisted
that professors of religion, both in the free and slave states, are
deeply implicated in the guilt of slavery. They have been fully
convinced that the American churches were mainly answerable
for the continuance of American slavery, and it has been a prominent
object with them to arouse professed Christians to testify,
both in their individual and associated capacities, against
the sin of oppression. The hostility which their efforts to this
end have excited within the church, has more than justified their
convictions—it has betrayed an extent and inveteracy of proslavery
feeling in the professed church of Christ, of which even
abolitionists had not conceived.

In making the developments which our query calls for, far
be it from us to set aught down in censoriousness against the
professed followers of Jesus; and as far be it from our hearts
to triumph in the exposure of their awful guilt touching the subject
of slavery. Rather would we cover our faces in shame and
weep at the thought, that professing Christians sanction and uphold
such a system of outrages upon man and God.

We will first consider how far professors of religion, living in the
slave states are implicated in the guilt of slaveholding, and subsequently
exhibit the implication of professors in the free states.

Professors of religion in the slave states are implicated very
extensively as a body, in the guilt of slaveholding,

1. By holding slaves themselves.
2. By vying with non-professing masters, in cruel treatment
of their slaves.
3. By selling and buying human beings, and often separating
husbands and wives, parents and children.
4. By defending slavery as a ” Bible Institution.”
5. By denouncing, opposing, and reviling abolitionists.

1. By actually holding slaves. Professors of religion are
slaveholders to as great an extent proportionably as the openly
irreligious. There is no obstacle whatever to church members
holding slaves. With the exception of the Friends or Quakers,
the Reformed Presbyterians or Covenanters, and three other
small sects—the United Brethren in Christ, the Primitive Methodists,
and the Emancipation Baptists,*—there is not a single denomination
in the slave states which forbids slaveholding among its
members. So far from any obstacles being placed in the way,
there is every encouragement held out to professed Christians
to hold slaves. If any one should feel conscientious scruples
about it, the example of his pastor and the church officers amply
satisfies him that his misgivings are the result of weakness.
Or if this should not perfectly convince him, a lecture or sermon
from his minister, proving slavery a divine institution cannot fail
to do so.

From the following testimony we learn to what extent professed
Christians are engaged in actual slaveholding. The witness
is a minister of high standing in the Presbyterian denomination at the south, and has been for many years stated clerk of a Presbytery in Mississippi.

” If slavery be a sin, and if advertising and apprehending slaves with
a view to restore them to their masters, is a direct violation of the divine
law, and if the buying, selling, and holding a slave for the sake
of gain, is a heinous sin and scandal, then verily, three Fourths of
all the Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians,
In eleven states of the union, are of the devil. They hold, if they
do not buy and sell slaves ; and with few exceptions, they hesitate not to
apprehend and restore runaway slaves when in their power.”—Quarterly
Anti-Slavery Magazine—vol. ii. p. 386.

This clerical defender of slavery informs us that three
fourths of the members of the large denominations in the south
hold slaves for gain. So extensive is the practice of slaveholding
among church members, that it constitutes an argument
with this divine, and a conclusive one too, against the doctrine
that slavery is sin. What a proclamation this, of the prevalence
of slavery in the church ! Further testimony is needless. Of
the remaining one fourth, assuming the above estimate to be
correct, a very small portion refrain from slaveholding upon
principle. The great majority of non-slaveholding professors
are such for the same reason that often prevents non-professors
from owning slaves—inability.

2. By vying with non-professing masters, in cruel treatment
of their slaves. Slaveholding professors of religion do in the
main exact as much labor, employ as barbarous overseers, stint
the food, clothing, and sleep of their slaves, and furnish them
as wretched shelter and lodgings, as other masters. They flog
as severely and as frequently, lacerate, bruise, maim, crop, brand,
gash, kick, chain, and imprison with the same relentless barbarity.
They allow licentiousness to as great an extent, and they
equally neglect the education and religious instruction of their

The testimony which follows is taken from ” American Slavery
as it is.” We will first present that of Rev. Francis Hawley,
who resided fourteen years in North and South Carolina.
Mr. H. is now pastor of the Baptist Church in Wallingford,
” ‘ Some years since, a Presbyterian minister moved from North Carolina
to Georgia. He had a negro man of an uncommon mind. For some
cause, I know not what, this minister whipped him most unmercifully.
He next nearly drowned him ; he then put him in the fence j this is done
by lifting up the comer of a ‘ worm ‘ fence, and then putting the feet
through ; the rails serve as stocks, He kept him there some time, how
long I was not informed, but the poor slave died in a few days ; and, if
I was rightly informed, nothing was done about it, either in church or
state. After some time, he moved back to North Carolina, and is now
a member of Presbytery. I have heard him preach, and have been
in the pulpit with him. May God forgive me !’

2. “‘While travelling as agent for the North Carolina Baptist State
Convention, I attended a three days’ meeting in Gates County. Friday,
the first day, passed off*. Saturday morning came, and the pastor of the
church, who lived a few miles off, did not make his appearance. The
day passed off and no news from the pastor. On Sabbath morning, he
came hobbling along, having but little use of one foot. He soon explained
: said he had hired a negro man, who, on Saturday morning,
gave him a ‘little slack jaw.’ Not having a stick at hand, he fell upon
him with his fist and foot, and in kicking him, he injured his foot so
seriously, that he could not attend meeting on Saturday.

3. ” ‘ Some of the slaveholcling ministers at the south, put their slaves
under overseers, or hire them out, and then take the pastoral care of
churches. The Rev. Mr. B——, formerly of Pennsylvania, had a plantation
in Marlborough District, South Carolina, and Avas the pastor of
a church in Darlington District. The Rev. Mr. T , of Johnson
county, North Carolina, has a plantation in Alabama.

4. ” fc I was present, and saw the Rev. J- W , of Mecklenburg
county, North Carolina, hire out four slaves to work in the gold mines
in Burke county. The Rev. H. M ‘, of Orange county, sold, for
900 dollars, a negro man to a speculator, on a Monday of a camp meeting.’

5. ” Extract from an editorial article in the ‘Lowell (Mass.) Observer’
a religious paper, edited at the time (1833) by the Rev. Daniel S. Southmayd,
who recently died in Texas.

“‘ We have been among the slaves at the south. We took pains to
make discoveries in respect to the evils of slavery. We formed our sentiments
on the subject of the cruelties exercised towards the slave from
having witnessed them. We now affirm, that we never saw a man, who
had never been at the south, who thought as much of the cruelties
practised on the slaves, as we knoni to be a fact.

“‘ A slave whom I loved for his kindness and the amiableness of his
disposition, and who belonged to the family where I resided, happened to
stay out fifteen minutes longer than he had permission to stay. It was a
mistake—it was unintentional. But what was the penalty ? He was
sent to the house of correction with the order that he should have thirty
lashes upon his naked body with a knotted rope ! ! ! He was brought
home and laid down in the stoop, in the back of the house, in the sun,
upon thefloor. And there he lay, with more the appearance of a rotten
carcass than a living man, for four days before he could do more than
move. And who was this inhuman being, calling God’s property his own,
and using it as he would not have dared to use a beast ? You may say
he was a tiger—one of the more wicked sort, and we must not judge
others by him. He was a professor of that religion which will pour upon
the willing slaveholder the retribution due to his sin.

6. ” Rev. Huntington Lyman late’pastor of the Free Church in Buffalo,
New York, savs :

” ‘ Walking one day in New Orleans with a professional gentleman,
who was educated in Connecticut, we were met by a black man ; the
gentleman was greatly incensed with the black man for passing so near
him, and turning upon him he pushed him with violence off the walk
into the street. This man was a professor of religion.’

” [And we add, a member, and if we mistake not, an officer of the
Presbyterian Church which was established there by Rev. Joel Parker,
and which was then under his teachings.—Ed.]

“Mr. Ezekiel Birdseye, a gentleman of known probity, in Cornwall,
Litchfield county, Conn, gives the testimony which follows t—

“‘ A Baptist clergyman in Laurens district, S. C, whipped his slave
to death, whom he suspected of having stolen about sixty dollars. The
slave was in the prime of life, and was purchased a few weeks before for
800 dollars of a slave trader from Virginia or Maryland. The coroner,
Wm. Irby, at whose house I was then boarding, told me, that on reviewing
the dead body, he found it beat to a jellyfrom head to foot. The master’s
wife discovered the money a day or two after the death of the slave.
She had herself removed it from where it was placed, not knowing what
it was, as it was tied up in a thick envelope. I happened to be present
when the trial of this man took place, at Laurens Court-house. His
daughter testified that her father untied the slave, when he appeared to
be failing, and gave him cold water to drink, of which he took freely.
His counsel pleaded that his death might have been caused by drinking
cold water in a state of excitement. The judge charged the jury, that
it would be their duty to find the defendant guilty, if they believed the
death was caused by the whipping ; but if they were of opinion that
drinking cold water caused the death, they would find him not guilty
!The jury found him—not guilty !’

44 Dr. Jeremiah S. Waugh, a physician in Somerville, Butler county^
Ohio, testifies as follows :

“‘ In the year 1825, I boarded with the Rev. John Mushat, a seceder
minister, and principal of an academy in Iredel county, N. C. He had
slaves, and was in the habit of restricting them on the sabbath. One of
his slaves, however, ventured to disobey his injunctions. The offence
was, he went away on sabbath evening, and did not return till Monday
morning. About the time we were called to breakfast, the rev. gentleman
was engaged in chastising him for breaking the sabbath. He deter-1
mined not to submit—attempted to escape by flight. The master immediately
took down his gun and pursued him ; levelled his instrument of
death, and told him, if he did not stop instantly he mould blow him through.

“‘ The poor slave returned to the house and submitted himself to the
lash ; and the good master, while yet pale with rage, sat down to the
table, and with a trembling voice asked God’s blessing !’
” The following letter was sent by Capt. Jacob Dunham, of New York
city, to a slaveholder in Georgetown, D. C, more than twenty years
since :

” ‘ Georgetown, June 13, 1815.

” ‘ Dear sir,—Passing your house yesterday, I beheld a scene of cruelty
seldom witnessed ; that was the brutal chastisement of your negro girl,
lashed to a ladder and beaten in an inhuman manner, too bad to describe.
My blood chills while I contemplate the subject. This has led me to
investigate your character from your neighbours ; who inform me that
you have caused the death of one negro man, whom you struck with a
sledge for some trivial fault ; that you have beaten another black girl
with such severity that the splinters remained in her back for some weeks
after you sold her ; and many other acts of barbarity, too lengthy to
enumerate. And to my great surprise, I find you are a professor of the
Christian religion!

” ‘ You will naturally inquire, why I meddle with yoifr family affairs.
My answer is, the cause of humanity and a sense of my duty requires it.
With these hasty remarks I leave you to reflect on the subject ; but wish
you to remember, that there is an all-seeing eye who knows all our faults
and will reward us according to our deeds.

” ‘ I remain, sir, yours, &c.
” ‘ Jacob Dunham,
” ‘ Master of the brig Cyrus, of N. Y.’

” Rev. Sylvester Cowles, pastor of the Presbyterian church, in Fredonia,
N. Y., says :
” ‘A young man, a member of the church in Conewango, went to
Alabama last year, to reside as a clerk in an uncle’s store. When he
had been there about nine months, he wrote his father that he must
return home. To see members of the same church sit at the communion
table of our Lord one day, and the next to see one seize any weapon and
knock the other down, as he had seen, he could not live there. His good
father forthwith gave him permission to return home.’

” The following is a specimen of the shameless hardihood with which
a professed minister of the gospel, and editor of a religious paper, assumes
the right to hold God’s image as a chattel. It is from the c Southern
Christian Herald’:

” ‘ It is stated in the Georgetown Union, that a negro, supposed to
have died of cholera, when that disease prevailed in Charleston, was
carried to the public burying-ground to be interred ; but before interment
signs of life appeared, and, by the use of proper means, he was restored
to health. And now the man who first perceived the signs of life in the
slave, and that led to his preservation, claims the property as his own,
and is about bringing suit for its recovery. As well might a man who
rescued his neighbour’s slave, or his horse, from drowning, or who extinguished
the flames that would otherwise soon have burnt down his
neighbor’s house, claim the property as his own.’

” Rev. George Bourne, of New York city, late editor of the ‘ Protestant
Vindicator,’ who was a preacher seven years in Virginia, gives the
following testimony :

” ‘ Benjamin Lewis, who was an elder in the Presbyterian church,
engaged a carpenter to repair and enlarge his house. After some time
had elapsed, Kyle, the builder, was awakened very early in the morning
by a most piteous moaning and shrieking. He arose, and following the
sound, discovered a coloured woman nearly naked, tied to a fence, while
Lewis was lacerating her. Kyle instantly commanded the slave-driver
to desist. Lewis maintained his jurisdiction over his slaves, and threatened
Kyle that he would punish him for his interference. Finally Kyle
obtained the release of the victim.

” ‘ A second and a third scene of the same kind occurred, and on the
third occasion, the altercation almost produced a battle between the elder
and the carpenter.

” ‘ Kyle immediately arranged his affairs, packed up his tools, and prepared
to depart. s Where are you going V demanded Lewis. ‘ I am
going home,’ said Kyle. ‘ Then I will pay you nothing for what you
have done,’ retorted the slave-driver, ‘ unless you complete your contract/
The carpenter went away with this edifying declaration, ‘I will not stay
here a day longer ; for I expect the fire of God will come down and burn
you up altogether, and I do not choose to go to hell with you.’ Through
hush-money and promises not to whip the women any more, I believe
Kyle returned and completed his engagement.

” ‘ James Kyle, of Harrisonburgh, Virginia, frequently narrated this
circumstance, and his son, the carpenter, confirmed it with all the minute
particulars combined with his temporary residence on the Shenandoah river.

” ‘ John M’Cue, of Augusta county, Virginia, a Presbyterian preacher,
frequently on the Lord’s day morning, tied up his slaves and whipped
them ; and left them bound, while he went to the meeting-house and
preached ; and after his return home repeated his scourging. That fact,
with others more heinous, was known to all persons in his congregation
and around the vicinity ; and so far from being censured for it, he and
his brethren justified it as essential to preserve their ‘ domestic institutions.’

“’ Mrs. Pence, of Rockingham county, Virginia, used to boast,—’ I
am the best hand to whip a wench in the whole county.’ She used to
pinion the girls to a post in the yard on the Lord’s day morning, scourge
them, put on the ‘ negro plaster^ salt, pepper, and vinegar, leave them
tied, and walk away to church as demure as a nun, and after service
repeat her flaying, if she felt the whim. I once expostulated with her
upon her cruelty. ‘ Mrs. Pence, how can you whip your girls so publicly
and disturb your neighbours so, on the Lord’s day morning ?’ Her
answer was memorable. ‘ If I were to whip them on any other day I
should lose a day’s work ; but by whipping them on Sunday, their backs
get well enough by Monday morning.’ That woman, if alive, is doubtless
a member of the church now, as then.

” ‘Rev. Dr. Staughton, formerly of Philadelphia, often stated, that
when he lived at Georgetown, S. C, he could tell the doings of one of
the slaveholders of the Baptist church there by his prayers at the prayer
meeting. ‘ If,’ said he, ‘ that man was upon good terms with his slaves,
his words were cold and heartless as frost ; if he had been whipping a
man, he would pray with life ; but if he had left a woman whom he had
been flogging, tied to a post in his cellar, with a determination to go back
and torture her again, O ! how he would pray !’ The Rev. Cyrus P.
Grosvenor, of Massachusetts, can confirm the above statement by Dr.

” ‘William Wilson, a Presbyterian preacher, of Augusta county, Virginia,
had a young colored girl who was constitutionally unhealthy. As
no means to amend her were availing, he sold her to a member of his
congregation, and in the usual style of human flesh dealers, warranted
her ‘ sound,’ &c. The fraud was instantly discovered ; but he would not
refund the amount. A suit was commenced, and was long continued,
and finally the plaintiff recovered the money out of which he had been
swindled by slave-trading with his own preacher. No Presbytery censured
him, although Judge Brown, the chancellor, severely condemned
the imposition.

” ‘In the year 1811, Jehab Graham, a preacher, lived with Alexander
Nelson, a Presbyterian elder, near Stanton, Virginia, and he informed
me that a man had appeared before Nelson, who was a magistrate, and
swore falsely against his slave,—that the elder ordered him thirty-nine
lashes. All that wickedness was done as an excuse for his dissipated
owner to obtain money. A negro trader had offered him a considerable
sum for the i boy,’ and under the pretence of saving him from the punishment
of the law, he was trafficked away from his woman and children
to another state. The magistrate was aware of the perjury, and the
whole abomination, but all the truth uttered by every coloured person in
the southern states would not be of any avail against the notorious false
swearing of the greatest white villain who ever cursed the world. ‘ How,’
said Jehab Graham, ‘ can I preach to-morrow V I replied, ‘ Very well;
go and thunder the doctrine of retribution in their ears, Obadiah 15, till
by the divine blessing you kill or cure them/ My friends, John M.
Nelson of Hillsborough, Ohio, Samuel Linn, and Robert Herron, and
others of the same vicinity, could ‘ make both the ears of every one who
heareth them tingle’ with the accounts which they can give of slavedriving
by professors of religion in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.

” ‘In 1815, near Frederick, in Maryland, a most barbarous planter was
killed in a fit of desperation, by four of his slaves in self-defence. It was
declared by those slaves while in prison that, besides his atrocities among
their female associates, he had deliberately butchered a number of his
slaves. The four men were murdered by law to appease the popular
clamor. I saw them executed on the twenty-eighth day of Jan. 18164
The facts I received from the Rev. Patrick Davidson of Frederick, who
constantly visited them during their imprisonment—and who became an
abolitionist in consequence of the disclosures which he heard from those
men in the jail. The name of the planter is not distinctly recollected,,
but it can be known by an inspection of the record of the trial in the
clerk’s office, Frederick’

” ‘ A minister of Virginia, still living, and whose name must not be
mentioned for fear of Nero Preston and his confederate-hanging myrmidons,
informed me of this fact in 18>15, in his own house. ‘ A member
of my church, said he, lately whipped a coloured youth to death. What
shall I do ?’ I answered, 4 I hope you do not mean to continue him in
your church/ That minister replied, ‘ How can we help it !’ We dare
not call him to an account. We have no legal testimony.’ Their communion
season was then approaching. I addressed his wife,—’ Mrs.
do you mean to sit at the Lord’s table with that murderer ?’—Not I,’
she answered :
‘ I would as soon commune with the devil himself.’ The
slave killer was equally unnoticed by the civil and ecclesiastical authority.

” ‘John Baxter, a Presbyterian elder, the brother of that slaveholding
doctor in divinity, George A. Baxter, held as a slave the wife of a Baptist
colored preacher, familiarly called ‘ Uncle Jack.’ In a late period
of pregnancy he scourged her so that the lives of herself and her unborn
child were considered in jeopardy. Uncle Jack was advised to obtain
the liberation of his wife. Baxter finally agreed, I think, to sell the
woman and her children, three of them, I believe, for six hundred dollars,
and an additional hundred if the unborn child survived a certain
period after its birth. Uncle Jack was to pay one hundred dollars per
annum for his wife and children for seven years, and Baxter held a sort
of mortgage upon them for the payment. Uncle Jack showed me his
back in furrows like a ploughed field. His master used to whip up the
flesh, then beat it downwards, and then apply the ‘ negro plaster^ salt,
pepper, mustard, and vinegar, until all Jack’s back was almost as hard
and unimpressible as the bones. There is slaveholding religion ! A
Presbyterian elder receiving from a Baptist preacher seven hundred dollars
for his wife and children ! James Kyle and uncle Jack used to tell
that story with great Christian sensibility ; and uncle Jack would weep
tears of anguish over his wife’s piteous tale, and tears of ecstasy at the
same moment that he was free, and that soon, by the grace of God, his
wife and children, as he said, c would be all free together.

” Rev. James Nourse, a Presbyterian clergyman of Mifflin co., Penn.,
whose father is, we believe, a slaveholder in Washington city, says,

” ‘ The Rev. Mr. M , now of the Huntingdon Presbytery, after an
absence of many months, was about visiting his old friends on what is
commonly called the ‘Eastern Shore/ Late in the afternoon, on his
journey, he called at the house of Rev. A. C, of P town, Md. With
this brother he had been long acquainted. Just at that juncture Mr. C.
was about proceeding to whip a colored female, who was his slave. She
was firmly tied to a post in FRONT of his dwelling-house. The arrival
of a clerical visitor at such a time, occasioned a temporary delay in the
execution of Mr. C.’s purpose. But the delay was only temporary ; for
not even the presence of such a guest could destroy the bloody design.
The guest interceded with all the mildness yet earnestness of a brother
and new visitor. But all in vain ; ‘the woman had been saucy, and
must be punished.’ The cowhide was accordingly produced, and the
Rev. Mr. C, a large and very stout man, applied it ‘manfully’ on
‘ woman’s’ bare and ‘ shrinking flesh.’ I say bare, because you know
that the slave women generally have but three or four inches of the arm
near the shoulder covered, and the neck is left entirely exposed. As the
cowhide moved back and forward, striking right and left, on the head,
neck, and arms, at every few strokes the sympathising guest would exclaim,
‘ O, brother C desist.’ But brother C. pursued his brutal work,
till, after inflicting about sixty lashes, the woman was found to be suffused
with blood on the hinder part of her neck, and under her frock
between the shoulders. Yet this rev. gentleman is well esteemed in the
church ; was, three or four years since, moderator of the synod of Philadelphia,
and yet walks abroad, feeling himself unrebuked by law or gospel.
Ah, sir, does not this narration give fearful force to the query—-
‘ What has the church to do with slavery ?’ Comment on the facts is
unnecessary, yet allow me to conclude by saying, that it is my opinion
such occurrences are not rare in the south.

J. N.’

” Rev. Charles Stewart Renshaw, of Quincy, Illinois, in a recent letter,
speaking of his residence, for a period, in Kentucky, says,

” ‘ In a conversation with Mr. Robert Willis, he told me that his
negro girl had run away from him some time previous. He was convinced
that she was lurking round, and he watched for her. He soon
found the place of her concealment, drew her from it, got a rope, and tied
her hands across each other, then threw the rope over a beam in the kitchen,
and hoisted her up by the wrists ;’ and,’ said he, ‘ I whipped her
there till I made the lint fly, I tell you.’ I asked him the meaning of
making ‘ the lint fly,’ and he replied, ‘ till the bloodflew! I spoke of the
iniquity and cruelty of slavery, and of its immediate abandonment. He
confessed it an evil, but said, ‘lama colonizationist—I believe in that
scheme.’ Mr. Willis is a teacher of sacred music, and a member of the
Presbyterian church in Lexington, Kentucky.

” Mr. R., speaking of the Presbyterian Minister and church where
he resided, says,

” ‘ The minister and all the church members held slaves. Some were
treated kindly, others harshly. There was not a shade ofdifferencehetween
their slaves and those of their infidel neighbours, either in their physical,
intellectual, or moral state : in some cases they would suffer in the comparison.

” ‘ In the kitchen of the minister of the church, a slave man was living
in open adultery with a slave woman, who was a member of the church,
with an ‘ assured hope’ of heaven ; whilst the man’s wife was on the
minister’s farm in Fayette county. The minister had to bring a cook
down from his farm to the place in which he was preaching. The choice
was between the wife of the man and this church member. He left the
wife, and brought the church member to the adulterer s bed.

” ‘ I was much shocked once, to see a Presbyterian elder’s wife call a
little slave to her to kiss her feet. At first the boy hesitated ; but the
command being repeated in tones not to be misunderstood, he approached
timidly, knelt, and kissed her foot.’

” The following communication from the Rev. William Bardwell, of
Sandwich, Massachusetts, has just been published in ‘ Zion’s Watchman,’
New York city :

” ‘ Mr. Editor,—The following fact was given me last evening, from
the pen of a shipmaster, who has traded in several of the principal ports
in the south. He is a man of unblemished character, a member of the
M. E. church in this place, and familiarly known in this town. The facts
were communicated to me last fall in a letter to his wife, with a request
that she would cause them to be published. I give them verbatim, as
they were written from the letter by brother Perry’s own hand while I
was in his house.

” ‘ A Methodist preacher, Wm. Whitby by name, who married in
Bucksville, S. C, and by marriage came into possession of some slaves,
in July, 1838, was about moving to another station to preach, and wished,
also, to move his family and slaves to Tennessee, much against the will
of the slaves, one of which, to get clear from him, ran into the woods
after swimming a brook. The parson took after him with his gun, which,
however, got wet and missed fire, when he ran to a neighbour for another
gun, with the intention, as he said, of killing him ; he did not, however,
catch or kill him ; he chained another for fear of his running away also.

The above particulars were related to me by William Whitby himself.

” ‘ Thomas C. Perry.
” ‘ March 3, 1839.’

” ‘ I find by examining the minutes of the S. C. Conference, that there
is such a preacher in the conference, and brother Perry further stated to
me that he was well acquainted with him, and if this statement was published,
and if it could be known where he was since the last conference,
he wished a paper to be sent him containing the whole affair. He also
stated to me, verbally, that the young man he attempted to shoot was
about nineteen years of age, and had been shut up in a corn-house, and
in the attempt of Mr. Whitby to chain him, he broke down the door and
made his escape as above-mentioned, and that Mr. W. was under the
necessity of hiring him out for one year, with the risk of his employer’s
getting him. Brother Perry conversed with one of the slaves, who was
so old that he thought it not profitable to remove so far, and had been
sold ; he informed him of all the above circumstances, and said, with
tears, that he thought he had been so faithful as to be entitled to liberty,
but instead of making him free, he had sold him to another master,
besides parting one husband and wife from those ties rendered a thousand
times dearer by an infant child, which was torn for ever from the husband.

” ‘ William Bardwell.
” ‘ Sandwich, Mass., March 4, 1839/

” Mr. Samuel Hall, a teacher in Marietta college, Ohio, says, in a
recent letter :

” ‘ A student in Marietta college, from Mississippi, a professor of religion,
and in every way worthy of entire confidence, made to me the following
statement. Qlf his name were published it would probably cost
him his life.]

” ‘ When I was in the family of the Rev. James Martin, of Louisville,
Winston county, Mississippi, in the spring of 1838, Mrs. Martin became
offended at a female slave, because she did not move faster. She commanded
her to do so ; the girl quickened her pace ; again she was ordered
to move faster, or, Mrs. M. declared, she would break the broomstick
over her head. Again the slave quickened her pace ; but not coming up
to the maximum desired by Mrs. M., the latter declared she would see
whether she (the slave) could move or not; and, going into another
apartment, she brought in a raw hide, awaiting the return of her husband
for its application. In this instance I know not what was the final
result, but I have heard the sound of the raw hide in at least two other
instances, applied by this same reverend gentleman to the back of his
female servant.’

” Mr. Hall adds—’ The name of my informant must be suppressed, as
‘he says, l there are those who would cut my throat in a moment, if the
information I give were to be coupled with my name/ Suffice it to say
that he is a professor of religion, a native of Virginia, and a student of
Marietta college, whose character will bear the strictest scrutiny. He
says :—

“‘In 1838, at Charlestown, Va., I conversed with several members
of the church under the care of the Rev. Mr. Brown, of the same place.
Taking occasion to speak of slavery, and of the sin of slaveholding, to one
of them who was a lady, she replied, ‘ I am a slaveholder, and I glory
in it.’ I had a conversation, a few days after, with the pastor himself,
concerning the state of religion in his church, and who were the most
exemplary members in it. The pastor mentioned several of those who
were of that description ; the first of whom, however, was the identical
lady who gloried in being a slaveholder ! That church numbers nearly
two hundred members.

” ‘ Another lady, who was considered as devoted a Christian as any in
the same church, but who was in poor health, was accustomed to flog
some of her female domestics with a raw hide till she was exhausted, and
then go and lie down till her strength was recruited, rising again and resuming
the flagellation. This she considered as not at all derogatory to
her Christian character.’

” Mr. Joel S. Bingham, of Cornwall, Vermont, lately a student in
Middlebury college, and a member of the Congregational church, spent a
few weeks in Kentucky, in the summer of 1 838. He relates the following
occurrence which took place in the neighbourhood where he resided,
and was a matter of perfect notoriety in the vicinity:

” ‘ Rev. Mr. Lewis, a Baptist minister in the vicinity of Frankfort,
Ky. had a slave that ran away, but was retaken and brought back to his
master, who threatened him with punishment for making an attempt to
escape. Though terrified, the slave immediately attempted to run away
again. Mr. L. commanded him to stop, but he did not obey. Mr. L.
then took a gun, loaded with small shot, and fired at the slave, who fell
but was not killed, and afterwards recovered. Mr. L. did not probably
intend to kill the slave, as it was his legs which were aimed at and
received the contents of the gun. The master asserted that he was driven
to this necessity to maintain his authority. This took place about the
first of July, 1838.

” The following is given upon the authority of Rev. Orange Scott, of
Lowell, Mass., for many years a presiding elder in the Methodist Episcopal
” ‘ Rev. Joseph Hough, a Baptist minister, formerly of Springfield,
Mass., now of Piainfield, N. II., while travelling in the south, a few years
ago, put up one night with a Methodist family, and spent the sabbath
with them. While there, one of the female slaves did something which
displeased her mistress. She took a chisel and mallet, and very deliberately
cut off one of her toes !'”

3. By selling and buying human beings, and often separating
husbands and wives, parents and children. It is a notorious
fact, that professors of religion do buy and sell slaves regardless
of family ties, without losing thereby their church standing.

The practice of professing Christians is an open sanction of
the internal slave trade.

The Address of the Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky to the
churches under their care, after testifying to the prevalence of
the internal slave trade, as quoted above, thus affirms the implication
of the church in it:

” Our church, years ago, raised its voice of solemn warning against
this flagrant violation of every principle of mercy, justice, and humanity.
Yet we blush to announce to you and the world, that this warning has
been often disregarded, even by those who hold to our communion.
Oases have occurred in our own denomination, where professors of the
religion of mercy have torn the mother from her children, and sent her
into a merciless and returnless exile. Yet acts of discipline have rarely
followed such conduct?—p. 14.

The address proceeds to show that discipline is almost impracticable.
Lest, however, it may be supposed that church censure
falls more frequently than it really does upon the perpetrators
of such enormities, we quote the declaration of the secretary of
the American Anti-Slavery Society, contained in a note on page
53 of the Fifth Annual Report.

” After diligent inquiry, we are aware of only one church in the slaveholding
states, which has disciplined its members for wrongs which could
be legally inflicted upon the slave ; that is the Presbyterian church at
Madisonville, East Tennessee, under the pastoral care of the late Rev.
Elijah M. Eagleton (a thorough abolitionist). That church, we think,
in 1836, cut off two of its members for the crime of selling slaves.”

The P.ev. Francis Hawley, of Connecticut, testifies as follows :

” One of my neighbours sold to a speculator a negro boy, about 14
years old. It was more than his poor mother could bear. Her reason
fled, and she became a perfect maniac, and had to be kept in close confinement.
She would occasionally get out and run off to the neighbours.
On one of these occasions she came to my house. She was, indeed, a
pitiable object. With tears rolling down her cheeks, and her frame
shaking with agony, she would cry out, ‘don’t you hear him—they are
whipping him now, and he is calling for me !’ This neighbour of mine,
who tore the boy away from his poor mother, and thus broke her heart,
was a member of the Presbyterian church.

” An elder in the Presbyterian church related to me the following :—
6 A speculator with his droye of negroes was passing my house, and I
bought a little girl, nine or ten years old. After a few months, I concluded
that I would rather have a plough-boy. Another speculator was
passing, and I sold the girl. She was much distressed, and was very unwilling
to leave.’ She had been with him long enough to become
attached to his own and his negro children, and he concluded by saying,
that in view of the little girl’s tears and cries, he had determined never
to do the like again. I would not trust him, for I know him to be a very
avaricious’ man.

” I was present, and saw the Rev. J W , of Mecklenburg
county, North Carolina, hire out four slaves to work in the gold mines in
-Burke county. The Rev. H M , of Orange county, sold, for
900 dollars, a negro man to a speculator, on a Monday of a camp meeting-”

Testimony of the Rev. Charles Renshaw :.

” A Methodist Preacher last fall took a load of produce down the
river. Amongst other things he took down five slaves. He sold them
at New Orleans ; he came up to Natchez ; bought seven there ; and took
them down and sold them also. Last March he came up to preach the
gospel again. A number of persons on board the steam-boat (the Tuscarora)
who had seen him in the slave-shambles in Natchez and New
Orleans, and now, for the first time, found him to be a preacher, had.
much sport at the expense of c the fine old preacher who dealt in slaves.

” Mr. William Poe, till recently a slaveholder in Yirginia, now an elder
in the Presbyterian church at Delhi, Ohio, gives the following testimony :

“’ An elder in the Presbyterian church in Lynchburg had a most
faithful servant, whom he flogged severely and sent him to prison, and
had him confined as a felon a number of days, for being saucy. Another
elder ofthe same church, an auctioneer, habitually sold slaves at his stand
—very frequently partedfamilies—would often go into the country to sell
slaves on execution, and otherwise ; when remonstrated with, he justified
himself, saying, ‘ it was his business ;’ the church also justified him
on the same ground.

“’ A Doctor Duval, of Lynchburg, Va., got offended with a very
faithful, Avorthy servant, and immediately sold him to a negro trader, to
be taken to New Orleans ; Duval still keeping the wife of the man as his
slave. This Duval was a professor of religion.’

” Rev. W. T. Allan, of Chatham, Illinois, gives the following in a letter
dated Feb. 4, 1839:

” ‘Mr. Peter Vanarsdale, an elder of^the Presbyterian church in Carroll
ton, formerly from Kentucky, told me, the other day, that a Mrs.
Burford, in the neighbourhood of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, had separated
a woman and her children from their husband and father, taking them
into another state. Mrs. B. was a member of the Presbyterian church.
The bereaved husband and father was also a professor of religion.

” ‘ Mr. V. told me of a slave woman who had lost her son, separated
from her by public sale. In the anguish of her soul, she gave vent to
her indignation freely, and perhaps harshly. Some time after, she wished
to become a -member of the church. Before they received her, she had
to make humble confession for speaking as she had done. Some of the
elders that received hSr, and required the confession, were engaged in selling
the sonfrom his mother'”

4. Professors of religion in the south are implicated in the
guilt of slaveholding by defending slavery as a scriptural institution
and a political blessing.

One of the most revolting spectacles that Christianity has ever
been called to weep over has, within a few years past, been exhibited
in the American church—that of a generation of gospel
ministers prostituting the bible to a defence of slavery. The
pulpit and the press, the ecclesiastical meeting and the social
circle, have repeatedly been employed to vindicate slavery as a
heaven-born institution. Books, pamphlets, sermons, reviews,
letters, and newspaper articles have been most industriously multiplied
to demonstrate the scriptural authority, and to illustrate
the ” sublime merits” of American slavery. Religious periodicals
have of late been established in the south, avowedly and prominently
to maintain slavery. Ministers, doctors of divinity,
professors in theological and literary institutions have outvied
corrupt politicians, unprincipled demagogues, and infidels, in
The following testimony to slave dealing among church members
and ministers is taken from ” American Slavery as it is.”
fabricating ingenious sophistries to shield slavery from the
assaults of truth. Learned dissertations have been written toprove
that the patriarchs held slaves, that slavery was one of
the Jewish institutions, and that Christ and his apostles sanctioned
the slavery of their times. Presbyteries, Synods, Conferences,
and other ecclesiastical bodies in the south, have at
sundry times and places, passed resolutions approbatory of,
slavery, with the view, as expressed in their preambles, of quieting
the consciences of church members, who are beginning to
be disturbed by the anti-slavery sentiments of the north. The
same bodies, in reply to brotherly epistles and remonstrances;
from similar bodies in the free states, have directed to be prepared,
and then sanctioned and sent forth, documents vindicating
their pro-slavery course, and avowing their determination to
persist in it. They have met remonstrance with flippant and
angry retort, and often with menace and defiance. Argument
has been answered by crimination, and affectionate appeal
requited by reproach. All these things southern professors of
religion have done, and ceased not to do for these several years.

We will now present some specimens of southern ecclesiastical
action on the subject of slavery.

The Charleston, South Carolina, Baptist Association, in a
memorial to the legislature of that state, says,

“The undersigned would further represent, that the said association
does not consider that the holy scriptures have made the fact of slavery
a question of morals at all.” Again, ” The right of masters to dispose of
the time of their slaves, has been distinctly recognized by the Creator of all.

The Charleston, South Carolina, Union Presbytery, unequivocally
avow their opinion as follows :
” Resolved, that in the opinion of this Presbytery the holding of slaves,
so far from being a sin in the sight of God, is nowhere condemned in
his holy word ;—that it is in accordance with the example, or consistent
with the precepts of patriarchs, prophets, and apostles ;—that it is compatible
with the most fraternal regard to the best good of those servants
whom God may have committed to our charge ; and that therefore they
who assume the contrary position, and lay it down as a fundamental
principle in morals and religion that slavery is wrong, proceed upon false
principles !

Such extracts might be multiplied indefinitely. Indeed there
is scarcely an ecclesiastical body of any note throughout the
slaveholding states, which has not repeatedly given its sanction
to the system of slavery.

Of the general practice of southern ministers we are fully
informed by Miss Martineau, in her work on America.
” Of the Presbyterian, as well as other clergy of the south, some are
even planters, superintending the toils of their slaves, and making purchases,
or effecting sales in the slave-markets, during the week, and
preaching on Sundays whatever they can devise that is least contradictory
to their daily practice. I watched closely the preaching in the south,
—that of all denominations,—-to see what could be made of Christianity,
‘ the highest fact in the Rights of Man,’ in such a region. The clergy
were pretending to find express sanctions of slavery in the bible : and
putting words to this purpose into the mouths of public men, who do not
profess to remember the existence of the bible in any other connexion.
The clergy were boasting at public meetings, that there was not a
periodical south of the Potomac which did not advocate slavery ; and
some were even setting up a magazine, whose ‘ fundamental principle is,
that man ought to be the property of man/ The clergy who were to be
sent as delegates to the general assembly, were receiving instructions to
leave the room, if the subject of slavery was mentioned ; and to propose
the cessation of ihe practice of praying for slaves.”

It cannot be doubted that this ardent zeal on the part of the
southern church to defend ” the domestic institution,” has been
chiefly enkindled by the movements of the abolitionists. Until
they uplifted their rebuke, nothing had awakened the conscience,
or startled the fears of a slaveholding church. Professing
Christians at the south slept undisturbed, and the great body of
the northern church consented to their slumber. Alas ! that
when finally aroused, they did not u awake unto righteousness
and sin not ;”—” then had their peace been as a river, and their
righteousness as the waves of the sea.” But they awoke, like
those possessed of evil spirits, to curse the light and cry, ” Torment
us not.”

5. By denouncing abolitionists, and striving to exclude antislavery
publications from the south.

It cannot be denied that southern ministers have occupied the
front rank among the vilifiers of the abolitionists. They have
threatened their persons, impugned their motives, loaded them
with abusive epithets, assailed their characters, and denounced
their piety. At one moment they have ridiculed them as weak
enthusiasts, and the next they have anathematized them as fell
incendiaries. They have successively despised them for the smallness
of their numbers, and hated them for their growing strength
and gathering hosts. In no cause, it is believed, have the southern
clergy ever evinced so much industry and earnestness as in contending
against the doctrines that slavery is a sin, and immediate
emancipation a duty. If these two propositions had embodied
the sum and substance of all ” damnable heresies,” they could
not have excited greater opposition.

The following resolutions and doings of southern religious
bodies in the slaveholding states, illustrate the spirit entertained
toward abolitionists and their doctrines.

The clergy of Richmond, Virginia, on the 29th of August,

” Resolved, that the suspicions that have prevailed to a considerable
extent against ministers of the gospel, and professors of religion in the
state of Virginia, as identified with abolitionists, are wholly unmerited,
believing as we do, from extensive acquaintance with our churches and
brethren, that they are unanimous in opposing the pernicious schemes of

The Synod of Va. subsequently passed the following resolution:

“ ‘ Resolved, unanimously, that we consider the dogma fiercely promulgated
by said associations—that slavery, as it actually exists in our
slaveholding states, is necessarily sinful, and ought to be immediately
abolished, and the conclusions which naturally follow from that dogma,
as directly and palpably contrary to the plainest principles of common
sense, and common humanity, and to the clearest authority of the word of

The Edgefield (S. C.) Baptist Association,

” ‘ Resolved, that the practical question of slavery, in a country where
the system has obtained as a part of its stated policy, is settled in the
scriptures by Jesus Christ and his apostles.’

” ‘ Resolved, that these uniformly recogiiized the relation of master
and slave, and enjoined on both their respective duties, under a system
of servitude more degrading and absolute than that which obtains in our

” The same association appointed a day of fasting, not ‘to ‘ undo the
heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free/ but to entreat God to
give to our brethren and all others at the north, who are embarked in
the unscriptural cause of the abolition of slavery among us, right views
of the course pursued by our Lord and his apostles under a similar state
of things, when they were upon the earth, in imitation of whose example
they should be found, that instead of scattering firebrands into the southern
portion of the Union, and stirring up a servile war, they may
‘ endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’”

Surely this is fasting ” to smite with the fist of wickedness.”

We are told by the southern Christian Herald that the Rev.
J. H. Thornwell, and Rev. Mr. Carlisle addressed a meeting in
Lancasterville, S. C, in support of the following among other
resolutions :

” 1. That slavery, as it exists in the south, is no evil, and is consistent
with the principles of revealed religion ; that all opposition to it arises
from a misguided andjiendish fanaticism, which we are bound to resist
in the very threshold.”

” 2. That all interference with this subject by fanatics, is a violation
of our civil and social rights—is unchristian and inhuman, leading necessarily
to anarchy and bloodshed ; and that the instigators are murderers
and assassins.”

” 3. That any interference with this subject, on the part of Congress,
must lead to a dissolution of the Union.’

A clergyman of Virginia closes a letter ” To the Sessions of
the Presbyterian congregations, within the bounds of West
Hanover Presbytery,” published in the Richmond Whig, as
follows :

” ‘ If there be any stray-goat of a minister among us, tainted with the
bloodhound principles of abolitionism, let him be ferreted out, silenced ;
excommunicated, and left to the public to dispose of him in other respects.

” Your affectionate brother in the Lord,

We next present an extract of a letter from Rev. George W.
Langhorne a methodist minister, to the editor of Zion’s Watchman,
a methodist anti-slavery paper in New York, dated Raleigh,
North Carolina, June 25, 1836.

” ‘ I, sir, would as soon be found in the ranks of a banditti, as numbered
with Arthur Tappan and his wanton coadjutors. Nothing is more appalling to my feelings as a man, contrary to my principles as a Christian, and repugnant to my soul as a minister, than the insidious proceeding’s of such men.

” ‘If you have not resigned your credentials, as a minister of the .Methodist
Episcopal church, I really think that, as an honest man, you should
now do it. In your ordination vows, you solemnly promised to be obedient
to those who have the rule over you ; and since they have spoken, and
that distinctly, too on this subject, and disapprobate your conduct, I
conceive that you are bound to submit to their authority, or leave the

Again, at a public meeting held at Orangeburgh, S. C.P on
the 21st of July, 1836, which had been called for the purposes
of considering what should be done with a copy of Zion’s Watchman,
which had been sent to the Rev. J. C. Postell, a member
of the South Carolina Conference of the Methodist E. Church,
Mr. Postell read an address to the citizens of that place, which
was published in the Charleston Courier of August 5, 1836, and
of which the following is an extract:

“From what has been premised, the following conclusions result : I.
That slavery is a judicial visitation. 2. That it is not a moral evil. 3.
That it is supported by the bible. 4. It has existed in all ages.

“It is not a morae evil. The fact, that slavery is of divine appointment,
would be proof enough with the Christian that it cannot be a
moral evil. So far from being a moral evil, it is a merciful visitation —’ It is the Lord’s doings, and marvellous in our eyes/ And
had it not been for the best, God alone, who is able, long since would
have overruled it. It is by divine appointment.'”

At the same meeting, the Rev. Mr. Postell read a letter which
he had addressed to the editor of Zion’s Watchman, of which
the following are extracts :

” To La Roy Sunderland, Editor of Zion’s Watchman, New- York :

” Did you calculate to misrepresent the Methodist discipline, and say
it supported abolitionism, when the General Conference, in their late resolutions,
denounced it as a libel on truth ? ‘ Oh, full of all subtlety,
thou child of the devil/ ‘ All liars,’ saith the sacred volume, * shall
have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone.

” I can only give one reason why you have not been indicted for a
libel. The law says, the greater the truth, the greater the libel ; and as
your paper has no such ingredient, it is construed but a small matter.
But if you desire to educate the slaves, I will tell you how to raise the
money, without editing Zion’s Watchman : you and old Arthur Tappan
comes out to the South this winter, and they will raise one hundred thou**
sand dollars for you—New Orleans of herself will be pledged for it.
Desiring no further acquaintance with you, and never expecting to see
you but once in time or in eternity, which is at judgment, I subscribe
myself the friend of the bible, and the opposer of abolitionism,

” Orangeburgh, July 21, 1836. J. C. POSTELL.’

“We conclude our extracts under this head with the following
Preamble and Resolutions of the Harmony Presbytery of South
Carolina,—passed ” unanimously.”

” Whereas, sundry persons in Scotland and England, and others in the
north, east, and west of our country, have denounced slavery as obnoxious
to the laws of God ; some of whom have presented before the
General Assembly of our church, and the congress of the nation, memorials
and petitions, with the avowed object of bringing into disgrace,
slaveholders, and abolishing the relation of master and slave.

” And whereas, from the said proceedings, and the statements, reasonings,
and circumstances connected therewith, it is most manifest that
those persons ‘ know not what they say nor whereof they affirm ;’ and
with this ignorance discover a spirit of self-righteousness and exclusive
sanctity, while they indulge in the most reckless denunciations of their
neighbour, as false in fact as they are opposed to the spirit and dictates
of our holy religion.

” Therefore, Resolved,

” 1. That as the kingdom of our Lord is not of this world, his church
as such has no right to abolish, alter, or affect any institution or ordinance
of men political and civil merely : nor has the church even in our midst
the right to prescribe rules and dictate principles which can bind or affect
the conscience with reference to slavery, and any such attempt would
constitute ecclesiastical tyranny. Much less has any other church or
churches, or bodies of men, ecclesiastical, civil, or political under heaven,
any the slightest right to interfere in the premises.

” 2. That slavery has existed from the days of those good old slaveholders
and patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, (who are now in the
kingdom of heaven,) to the time when the apostle Paul sent a runaway
slave home to his master Philemon, and wrote a Christian and fraternal
epistle to this slaveholder, which we find still stands in the canons of
the scriptures ; and that slavery has existed ever since the days of the
apostle and does now exist.

” 3. That as the relative duties of master and slave are taught in the
scriptures, in the same manner as those of parent and child, and husband
and wife, the existence of slavery itself is not opposed to the will
of God ; and whosoever has a conscience too tender to recognise this relation as lawful, is ‘ righteous over much,’ is ‘ wise above what is written,
and has submitted his neck to the yoke of man, sacrificed his Christian
liberty of conscience, and leaves the infallible Word of God for the fancies
and doctrines of men.”

From this view of the pro-slavery influence of the southern
church, we turn to contemplate the position of the church in the
free states. From the fact that slavery, as a permanent institution,
does not exist in the northern or free states, a stranger
might suppose the church in these states to be clear of the guilt
of slaveholding. Facts however establish a very different conclusion,
and demonstrate that the northern church is but little
less, if indeed not more, implicated than the southern church.
The relations of the North to the South devolve special and
weighty responsibilities upon the church in the free states touching
the question of slavery. From the nature of the case the
northern church must exert a mighty influence either for the removal
or the continuance of slavery in the south. Its influence
over the south in all matters of a moral and religious nature is
acknowledged to be great. From the bosom ofthe northern church
the south receives a majority of its most influential ministers,
editors of religious papers, and teachers from the theological professor
and college president, to the village schoolmaster and
family tutor. From the north, too, the south receives many,
perhaps most, of its religious periodicals, from the Quarterly
Theological Review to the Weekly Sheet ; also by far the greater
proportion of its religious books and pamphlets. It may be asserted
that the religious press of the north has an almost absolute
sway over the south. Moreover sentiments of the northern
church on slavery uttered in the pulpit, or expressed by ecclesiastical
bodies, carry with them very great weight. If the various
denominations of the north would bear a decided and unanimous
testimony against slavery as a sin, to he immediately renounced,
it could not long exist at the south, at least among professing
Christians. It would then require no mighty and expensive
machinery of agencies and presses, devoted especially
to the agitation of the slavery question. Its doom would be
pronounced by the northern church.

But it may be asked, is not the church in the free states unanimous
against slavery ? Do they not regard it as a sin of no
ordinary magnitude ? Do they not believe that it should be
immediately abolished ? Do they not proclaim these sentiments
from the pulpit, from the press, and from the ecclesiastical
meeting ?

We reply by stating a few facts.

First, with regard to ecclesiastical action. One of the General
Assemblies of the Presbyterian church, at their last annual
meeting, refused to entertain the subject of slavery at all ; the
other refused to act upon it in any other way than by referring
to the lower judicatories, for such disposal as they might think

The general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, at
its last meeting, refused to sanction or renew its usual testimony
against slavery, but passed sundry resolutions bitterly denouncing
” modern abolitionism.”

These bodies represent both the northern and southern sections
of their respective churches, a large majority of which are
in the north. Let us see what the exclusively northern judicatories
of these and other denominations have done. Ot
the Presbyteries to whom the dispbsal of the subject was
committed by one of the General Assemblies (the New School)
a majority, we believe, have maintained entire silence. A number
of them, situated in sections of the country where antislavery
societies have been operating most successfully, have
spoken out strongly for the slave. It is only within a few years
that these, or any of the religious bodies of the north, with very
few exceptions, have taken up their testimony against slavery.
Some of the northern conferences, (of the Methodist Episcopal
church) have prohibited their travelling ministry from meddling
with the subject of slavery, and have refused to license candidates
for the ministry, who are known to be abolitionists, and
who would not pledge themselves to entire silence on the subject of
slavery. There is not a single conference, with the exception of
two in New England, which has decidedly condemned slavery as

The Baptist church at the north has not been so extensively
recreant to the cause of the slave ; but still the great body of
that denomination, have thrown their influence on the side of
the oppressor. So have the Episcopal clergy, with scarcely an exception, even up to the present hour ; and with a few distinguished
exceptions, the same may be said of the laity of that

The great body of the Congregational clergy of New England,
divided into those called orthodox, and the unitarians, were for
some years after the commencement of the anti-slavery effort in
this country, among its most strenuous opposers. None perhaps
were more zealous in advancing the objects of the Colonization
Society. None have contributed more powerfully to
crush the free people of colour by sanctioning and strengthening
the unchristian prejudice against them. Though large numbers
of the Congregational clergy have within the last five years
joined the abolitionists; yet even now the majority of them exert
an influence, which countenances the slaveholder and crushes
the slave, and free people of color. This is pre-eminently true
of those who are settled in cities and large towns.

The fact that the pulpit in the free states is very extensively
closed against the advocate of the slave, plainly indicates the
position of the main body of the clergy of all denominations.
A few years ago, when the anti-slavery cause was more unpopular
than it now is, there was probably not one pulpit in a hundred
throughout the free states which was not barred against it,
and it was obliged to resort to court houses, town houses, school
houses, bar rooms,. barns, private houses, and often to the open
air. Now the cause has won its way into a large number of
churches which were formerly inaccessible ; but at the present
moment the great majority of pulpits in the free states are
closed against the advocacy of human rights. The ministers
who occupy them will not for the most part even read a notice
of an anti-slavery meeting. Still they disclaim all friendship
for slavery. But. do they manifest their sincerity by preaching
on the subject themselves ? Not they. Slavery is a topic
which they studiously avoid. True, they endeavour to justify
their silence by alleging that it is a political subject, not befitting
the pulpit, or that it is a matter which does not concern
them, but belongs exclusively to the south. Still the fact remains
that they observe a studied silence respecting the iniquities
and enormities of American oppression. If they break silence,
as they sometimes do, it is too often to speak in extenuation
of the guilt of slaveholders, or to denounce the fanaticism of the
abolitionists. Large numbers of ministers in the free states add
to the sin of neglecting slavery in their ministrations, the grosser
guilt of excluding it from their public prayers. Amid the numerous
subjects of prayer gathered from the ends of the earth, and
from the islands of the sea,—subjects never forgotten in the great
congregation, the poor slave finds no place, though he lies bleeding
under the droppings of the sanctuary.

But while multitudes of the northern clergy exclude the antislavery
minister from their pulpits, and close their own lips in.
the cause of the dumb, they welcome the slaveholding preacher
from the south. To bar him from their pulpits, though his hands
have clutched the bloody whip, would be a breach of Christian
courtesy. If the southern layman visits their parish, bringing
with him his retinue of human property, and leaving behind his
half-thousand slaves, subject to the lash and the lust of the brutal
overseer, he is invited cordially to the communion table. While
ecclesiastical chivalry is doing all these honours to the slaveholding
minister and layman, it is making a still more shocking
display of its pro-slavery sympathy in its treatment of the coloured
members of the church. To them a seat is assigned in
an obscure corner, or in the gallery,—a seat odious not only
from its position in the house, but principally from its being a
negro seat, out of which the coloured man, however worthy or
pious, is not allowed to sit. In the very communion itself,
which should be a scene of unrestricted Christian union, and
equality, the colored brother is mortified and insulted by being
repeatedly passed by in the dispensing of the elements, until all
the whites are served; while perhaps the slaveholding brother
from the south, is honored with the first presentation.

These are some of the ways in which the northern clergy and
churches are implicated in the guilt of slaveholding, and a fearful
amount of guilt have they accumulated.

We next come to speak of the position and influence of the northern
religious press.

We have already alluded to its extensive circulation in
the slaveholding states. Were its attitude a manly and
upright one, it would soon subvert the foundations of slavery.
While with some editors the policy is entire silence on the
subject, others maintain a perpetual war against the abolitionists.
There are religious papers which are incessantly opposing
the doctrine of immediate emancipation, as wild, visionary,
dangerous, and impracticable. If they speak of slavery at
all, it is to cavil about the doctrine of its being in all cases sin, and
to expose their want of sympathy for the slave by speculating
about imaginary cases in which they suppose slaveholding would sin. Meanwhile they are symphonious in the praises of
the Colonization Society—an institution whose partialities for the
oppressor, whose indifference for the fate of the slave, and exterminating
hatred of the free people of color, have been a thousand
times exposed. While they are trumpeting the honors of
this negro-hating society, they are dumb respecting the glorious
events which have transpired, in the West Indies. For
aught the mass of northern religious papers have said about it,
their readers would scarcely have learned the fact of the eman–
cipation of 800,000 slaves in the British colonies, and would be
in utter ignorance of the happy and triumphant issue of that
great experiment. Such has been the course of the weekly press.
In unison with these the grave Quarterly publications established
at the seats of theological learning, and conducted by theological
professors, have been lending their influence to vindicate
slavery from the bible. The writers and publishers of religious,
books at the north have likewise contracted the dreadful guilt
of being silent upon the abominations of slavery. The guilt of
silence is after all the most general and the most shameful guilt
of northern Christians respecting slavery. It betrays a hardness
of heart towards their poor brother in bonds, a blindness to the
sin of slavery, and a recreancy to their responsibilities in the
matter which are truly deplorable. It betrays still more, a
most humiliating fear of incurring southern displeasure and
losing southern patronage.

We have not yet completed the humiliating exposure of the
northern church, which faithfulness to the slave demands of us.
Professors of religion have borne no small part in the pro-slavery
mobs which have disgraced the free states for the last seven
years. They have been known to be. active in instigating them,
and they have been concerned in carrying them out; and after
mobs have spent their fury upofi^abolitionists, men of grave
church titles have been known to give their sanction to the
deed :—” good enough for the fanatics,” “just what the rascals
deserve,” ” the only way to deal with incendiaries,” and such like
endorsements of mob violence, have fallen from the lips of many
a minister, deacon, elder, and class leader in the free states.

Again, large numbers of northern church members and not
a few northern clergymen, are actually owners of slaves in the

To those ignorant of the numerous relations which subsist between
northern and southern Christians, the representations we
have given above might appear incredible. What inducement,
such persons might ask, can the northern churches have to thus
favor the system of slavery ? It is far removed from them,
they are not corrupted by daily contact with oppression, they
are constantly witnessing the benign results of a system of free
labor, they see the superiority of freedom in the incomparably
greater prosperity of the free states, everything around them
condemns slavery ; and we might conclude that if the whole
population of the free states were not abolitionists, at least the
whole northern church would be. But there are very many
circumstances which connect the northern church with the
south, and give the former an interest in the continuance of
slavery, scarcely inferior to that of the southern church.

First, there are numerous ecclesiastical relations between the
north and the south.

Each of the large denominations have an extensive branch in
the south. These southern branches are very influential, and
when they threaten to secede from their brethren in the free
states in case they meddle with slavery, the northern churches
are strongly tempted to silence, for the sake of peace, union, and
denominational power.

Again, most of the active benevolent operations of the northern
church derive a part of their patronage from the south.
Such is the case with Boards for Foreign and Domestic Missions,
the Bible, Tract, and Education societies. Here is another
strong inducement to the northern churches to propitiate
the favour of the south by silence upon slavery.

Again, church members at the north are connected with the
south to an unlimited extent by marriage alliances.

Northern ministers and theological professors have sons and
daughters married at the south and owning large slave properties;
So with elders, deacons, class-leaders, and private members generally.
There is scarcely a family in the free states which
has not some relative residing at the south, usually married.
Many a son, too, of northern religious parents is to be found on
southern plantations, flourishing the whip of the overseer. This
extensive family connexion with the south has a tendency to
make northern professing Christians very loath to speak aught
against southern “institutions.”

Again, there is an almost infinite variety of business relations
between the north and the south.
Almost every trade and handicraft pursued at the north, has its
market at the south. Thus members of churches, equally with
other classes of persons in the free states, are connected in business
with the south, and are of course interested in preserving
the amicable relations between the two sections of the union,
and strongly tempted to refrain from everything that will offend
slaveholders. They are too far-sighted not to discover that any
movement at the north against slavery, must materially affect
business intercourse with the south ; and hence they are constantly
plied with motives urging them to be silent on the subject
of slavery, and not only to be silent themselves, but to endeavour
to keep all others so.

Besides business and other connexions already mentioned
the friendly relations and social intercourse which are constantly
maintained between the citizens of the free and the slave states
are as largely participated in by the religious as by any other class.

Thousands of Christian families at the north entertain visiters
from the south during the summer, many of whom are
themselves entertained in turn as visiters at the south during
the winter. The strongest social attachments not unfrequently
exist between northern and southern families, who are in no wise
related. And surely this sort of intercourse between the inhabitants
of such widely separated portions of our common country,
is, when contemplated as an illustration of human friendship,
a delightful spectacle. But the aspect in which we are
called to view it is certainly more painful than pleasing. Its
tendency has been to blind northern Christians to the enormities
and guilt of slavery, and even when not wholly blinded the entanglements
of social etiquette have restrained them from speaking
out in the language of faithful rebuke. They feel that this
would be a sort of breach of faith to their southern friends, a
betrayal of the confidence reposed in them, and an ungrateful
requital of the hospitalities which have been showered upon
them. Unworthy as such feelings are, they are entertained and
have no small influence in closing the mouths if not the minds
of professing Christians in the free states against the claims of
the slave. Strange indeed that Christians should not have
learned that first lesson of the religion of Christ, that duty
is not created by smiles nor annihilated by frowns. But
multitudes at the north who freely admit the theory of that lesson,
refuse to reduce it to practice in the case under consideration.
They have found it no easy task to espouse the cause of
the slave when that act severs for ever the ties which bind them
to the slaveholder. Those who are not in the habit of making
every other consideration bow before duty, are not the men to
resist so formidable a temptation.

Lastly, northern ministers have a strong interest in the slave
states. Not a few of them are natives of the slave states, some
of whom still hold slaves, others have married wives with slave
dowers, others contemplate a future settlement or sojourn there.
A variety of causes may bring about such an event. Their
health may fail, and render a visit or removal to the south indispensable,
or they may receive a tempting call, or from some
other cause they may one day become residents of the south.
It behoves them therefore to stand either uncommitted on the
question of slavery, or committed on the wrong side.

From these observations it is evident that there are numerous
temptations operating upon professing Christians at the north to
become implicated in the guilt of slaveholding. That they
should be so often found apologizing for the slaveholder, welcoming
him to the communion, and inviting him to the pulpit,
while they close it against him who would plead for the slave,
can be accounted for upon the plainest principles of human

In conclusion, we would say that though a multitude of professing
Christians at the north are implicated in the guilt of slaveholding, there is a large number of honorable exceptions both among individuals and societies. There are ecclesiastical
bodies that dare to pronounce slaveholding in all cases a heinous
sin to be repented of, and abandoned immediately. There are not
a few pulpits that stand wide open to the advocates of the oppressed
but close instinctively at the approach of a clerical manstealer
; there are many ministers who speak boldly for the slave,
and remember him in the prayers of the sanctuary ; there are
churches, very few though they be, which repudiate the God-dishonoring
distinctions of colour in the house of worship, and
which hesitate not to debar from their communion the slaveholding
professor. There are portions of the public press who
assert their freedom, and meet their responsibilities in the cause
of human rights without shrinking.

There are Christians who are willing to forego southern trade,
favor, friendship, and marriage alliances, choosing rather to
suffer affliction with the slave, than to enjoy the pleasures of
sin for a season. And thanks be unto God, the number of these
is rapidly increasing, and will, we doubt not, continue to increase
until the whole northern church shall have cleansed its skirts
from the blood of the slave.


Twelfth Question. Could a law for the registration of slaves be passed in the United States or other countries to prevent the introduction of slaves when the trade is illegal ?

Such a law, if faithfully and vigorously executed, would doubtless accomplish much ; but we have no idea that any such law could be passed at present in the United States, or if passed that it would be faithfully enforced. There is so little true respect for the principles of liberty in the nation, and so little just appreciation of human rights, that a law of this kind could neither be passed nor properly executed.


Thirteenth Question. Is any slave trade carried on with Texas ; if so, to what extent, from whence are the slaves obtained, and what is the present number of slaves in that country?

The answer to this question will be found in connexion with the replies to other queries upon Texas.


Fourteenth Question. What are the means which the abolitionists
in different parts of the world could most effectually use,
consistently with the principles recognized by~ the British and
Foreign Anti-slavery Society for the extinction of the slave trade
and slavery ?

Our suggestions under this inquiry will have reference only to
American slavery.

1. The incalculable benefits which the anti-slavery cause in
this country has already realized from the abolition of slavery
in the British West Indies, convinces us that our foreign friends
cannot in any way more effectually aid us than by laboring for
the utter extinction of slavery and the instruction and elevation
of the emancipated slaves in all their national domains. Already
the abolition of slavery in the British West Indian colonies
has struck a decisive blow at the roots of our system. No
one event has occurred for which we have greater reason to
magnify the God of the oppressed. Let this be followed by the
abolition of slavery in the French colonies, and American slavery
would totter to its fall. Further, let the friends of freedom
in England redouble their efforts for the extinction of East
India slavery. The effect of emancipation in the West Indies,
as an example, is greatly counteracted in its operation upon a
large portion of our countrymen by the continuance of slavery
in the East Indies. This is seized upon as an inconsistency,
and wielded as a proof of British insincerity in the cause of human
liberty. It is greatly important, therefore, that every
ground and pretext of cavil against British sincerity should be
taken away, that the example of a nation of abolitionists may
bear upon us with all its weight. The eradication of slavery in
the East Indies would give the English nation just such a
power. Besides it would almost inevitably either wholly exclude
American slave cotton from the English market, or greatly
reduce its price. In either case a shock would be given to
American slavery from which it could never recover.

May we not moreover rely upon the combined anti-slavery
power in England and France for effecting the abolition of slavery
in the Spanish colonies ? The single island of Cuba wields
a greater influence over the United States than all the other
West India colonies together. From its size, wealth, and contiguity,
and from the constant intercourse maintained between
us, it serves to keep our slaveholders in countenance. Were
slavery abolished there we should care but little for its continuance
in the minor Danish and Dutch colonies, so far as respects
their influence over us. But we feel little encouragement to
look to Spain for so desirable a consummation.

2. We would next mention as an auxiliary the guarding of
the great experiment in the West Indies from all adverse influences.
Our countrymen are intently observing the operation
of this experiment, and they are observing it with partial and
prejudiced eyes, with the secret wish and hope that it may fail;
at the same time they realize that if it succeeds it must go far
towards demonstrating the safety and policy of immediate
emancipation. Their readiness to seize upon every vague rumour
adverse to the experiment illustrates both their wishes and
their fears. Many unfavorable influences may be, and have already
been brought to bear upon this experiment, and the evil results
are charged, by the prejudiced here, though very unjustly,
against the cause of emancipation. We need not here specify these
influences. The friends of human rights in Great Britain nave
already a painful acquaintance with them, and are well aware
that the colonies abound with agencies in the shape of unequal
laws, partial magistrates, and unprincipled planters, hostile to
the interests of freedom. Over these agencies British Abolitionists
may exert a control : we cannot.

3. The friends of human rights in Great Britain may further
aid in the anti-slavery work, by keeping our countrymen advised
of the happy results of emancipation in the West India colonies.
It is true those islands are open to our inspection, and
we have not been slow to gather the results and proclaim them
in the ears of our countrymen ; but in the estimation of the proslavery
class we are partizans, and heated ones too, yea fanatical,
and our testimony is received with suspicion. The testimony
of Englishmen themselves relative to the working of
emancipation in the West India colonies, would we are persuaded
claim far greater attention. But to be effectual, it should
be oft repeated. We would respectfully suggest that frequent
statements of the condition of the colonies, conduct of the peo165
pie, state of the crops, causes of difficulties if any, and many
other like items, carefully made out and sent to our religious
weekly, and commercial daily publications, in New York and
other cities, would be of incalculable service.

4. Another way in which our cause may be greatly furthered,
is by awakening more and more the British public to the abominations
of American slavery. A deep abhorrence of our oppressions
should pervade universally the British people, so that
whenever Americans travel or tarry within the bounds of the
empire they should meet a solemn and uncompromising testimony
against American slavery, American ” prejudice against
color,” and the multiform pro-slavery spirit of the free states.
Even now the influence of such a public sentiment is beginning
to be felt by Americans who cross the Atlantic. Great Britain
is already regarded here as a nation of abolitionists and her
frown is greatly dreaded by the advocates of slavery. If the
impression could be made upon the British people at large, that
they may do much toward the removal of American slavery,
this would be a great point gained. If they could be made to
appreciate the mighty influence which they may wield by the
bare expression of their public sentiment against our slavery,
this would be a still greater gain. If also the responsibilities
of Englishmen visiting the United States were deeply felt, and
if they were in all cases faithful in condemning our slavery, and
prejudice, and all who uphold them, they would produce the happiest
effects. How few Englishmen, visiting the United States,
are faithful in this respect ! How few sustain the reputation
of their country as a nation of abolitionists ! How many, who
are regarded at home as abolitionists, come here only to weaken
our hands, and strengthen those of slaveholders and their

5. Again, the cause of American emancipation might be greatly
promoted by communications from distinguished persons in Great
Britain, prepared expressly for publication under their own signatures,
in our most influential moral and religious periodicals.
But little has been hitherto done in this way, but still enough to
show the importance of this instrumentality. The letters of the
Rev. John AngellJames, of Birmingham, addressed to the editor
of the New York Observer, were extensively read, and produced
a most salutary impression. These letters were kind and courteous,
yet firm and faithful in their rebuke of American slavery
and prejudice, and coming as they did from one extensively
known and respected amongst us, they were most welcome auxiliaries.
Let such letters be multiplied a hundred fold. There
are many names in Great Britain, both in church and state, that
are cherished in the hearts of multitudes of our countrymen;
and communications signed by them would secure an extensive
perusal. We need not say that the course here suggested would
be wholly unexceptionable. American slavery is a public thing
—as much so as American liberty. It stands out before the
world claiming to be ” the corner stone of the Republic,” ” an
essential element in a free government.” With such high pretensions
it should surely seek to attract toward it the searching
scrutiny of the master spirits of all lands. We earnestly solicit
your attention to this as an important means of promoting the
extinction of American slavery ; and trust that it will not be
found impracticable to enlist many in this most promising

6. The anti-slavery cause in this country may also be greatly
subserved by securing the general discussion of American slavery
by the British press—religious, literary, commercial, and political.
All your ablest reviews are reprinted and widely circulated in all
parts of the United States. Anti-slavery articles published in
them would reach every portion of the union. The friends of
human rights in Great Britain could not more essentially promote
the cause in this country than by securing the co-operation
of those pre-eminently powerful instrumentalities in holding up
American slavery to the scorn and indignant reprobation of the
civilized world. The service which would hereby be rendered,
may be inferred from the loud outcry of a prominent slaveholder,
” the literature of the world is against us.” There is not, perhaps,
in the world a class of persons more sensitive to public
opinion than slaveholders. Hence all their frenzied excitement
because abolitionists will discuss slavery. It is not because
they believe that their slaves will thereby be instigated to rebellion,
or that any compulsory measures will be used to effect the
overthrow of slavery ; but simply because they foresee that the
inevitable consequence of discussion will be the creation of a
strong public sentiment at the north against their favorite
system. Regard for public favor, strong in every community,
is doubly so among slaveholders, for with them it is an indispensable
prop to a misgiving conscience. With the slaveholder
accredited respectability becomes a substitute for self respect,
which gradually abandons him amid the perpetual developments
of passion and meanness. Hitherto the slaveholder
has been living upon his respectability, and he has certainly had
an unreasonable stock of it both at home and abroad. But his
glory is passing away. The disguises of generosity, hospitality,
and chivalry, under which he has so long contrived to practise
his impositions upon the world, are being torn off, and he must
soon appear in his naked deformity the abhorrence of mankind.
To hasten this desirable consummation we would enlist the British
press widely in the discussion of American slavery. Let
American slaveholders feel not merely that the literature of the
world is against them, but that the British press, with its piety,
talent, learning, eloquence, and philanthropy marshals and leads
on the host.

7. Lastly, most valuable aid may be rendered by the extensive
introduction into the British market of free grown cotton,
sugar, rice, tobacco, and the other products of our slave labor.
Our slave states are so greatly dependent upon British markets
for the profitable disposal of their products that if Great Britain
should give adequate encouragement to her East India products
of the same kind, the main staff of American slavery
would be broken.

We have thus taken the liberty, in compliance with the desire
expressed in the preceding query, to make a number of suggestions
relative to the co-operation of British abolitionists in the
extinction of American slavery. That co-operation we most
highly appreciate and earnestly invoke. Similarity of language,
laws, manners, and pursuits, and the great and increasing intercourse
between the two nations, give to Britons a moral hold
upon our countrymen which no other people on the globe possess.
We entreat them not to be deterred from the most active
advocacy of this cause by the consideration that Great Britain
and America are distinct nations. What though we are politically
two people—are we not morally one ? Are we not one
brotherhood of human kind ? Is it in the nature of the geographical
lines which separate the family of man into various
nations and governments, to absolve one portion of that family
from all obligation to exert a moral influence over others ? We
feel assured that such a sentiment will find no tolerance with
British’ abolitionists. Whether Americans desire, deprecate,
or defy their rebukes, they will be uttered, and they will be


Fifteenth Question. What is the practice of the American abolitionists in reference to the use of slave grown produce?

In this respect there is no uniformity in the practice of American abolitionists. Some abstain entirely from slave grown produce as a matter of conscience ; others regard it as a question of expediency merely, and abstain so far as they find it convenient. Others still—and large numbers—view it neither as a question of conscience nor expediency ; consequently they purchase and use slave grown produce of all descriptions without compunction and probably without giving a thought to the subject. It should, however, be observed that this subject has been but little discussed among American abolitionists—far less in our opinion than its intrinsic importance demands.


Sixteenth Question. Would the recommendation to give a preference to the use of free instead of slave grown produce, be likely to have an extensively practical good effect, and if cotton, the exclusive growth of free labor, were manufactured in England, would it find a sale in America to any extent?

Our views respecting the first part of the above query have been already given in the remarks under the fourteenth question. To the latter part of the question we reply that free labor cotton fabrics would probably be bought by a majority of American abolitionists. Beyond this we do not suppose they would find much demand. Could it be furnished at the same prices for which slave labor fabrics can be had, it would probably stand in the American market on the same footing with the latter ; for very few, we suppose, give a preference to slave grown articles on account of their being slave grown.


Seventeenth Question. Wouldfiscal regulations by European countries favorable to the consumption of free grown cotton, sugar, rice, coffee, tobacco, and other tropical productions, have a beneficial effect?

Such regulations, if made in good faith and vigorously carried out, would doubtless yield most happy results.


Eighteenth Question. Would Denmark, France, Cuba, Porto Rico, or the Brazils, consent to abolish slavery, if all the tropical productions of these countries or their colonies were admittedfor consumption in the European market on the same terms as their own colonial produce—no discriminating duty being placed against British manufactures in the countries from which such produce is admitted?

We have not sufficient data in our possession to enable us to furnish a satisfactory answer to this query.


Nineteenth Question. What is the number of slaves still remaining in the so called free states?

The answer to this query will be seen by a reference to the statistics, and observations under the first question.


Twentieth Question. What are the laws of the northern states affecting slaves and the rights (so called) of slave-masters?

These laws may be considered in two points of view—as affecting the slaves still remaining in the nominally free states, and as affecting those brought thither from slave states, for a temporary sojourn.

In some of the states slavery was abolished by judicial decisions made on the ground of express constitutional declarations that ” all men are born free and equal.” The states which thus abolished slavery are Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In these cases the act of abolition extended of course to all the slaves ; though a very few aged persons may, though legally free, be still held in nominal slavery, and as slaves, be enumerated in the national census.

The western free states, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan,
were rescued from slavery previous to their existence as states,
by the “ordinance for the government of the territory of the
United States, north west of the river Ohio,” ratified by congress
July 13th, 1787.

Maine never held slaves as a state, being a part of Massachusetts
at the time slavery was abolished there.

In the remaining free states, slavery was abolished by acts of
their respective legislatures in a gradual way. In these cases
emancipation was secured only to those born after a fixed period.
The slaves then living were unaffected by it, and remained slaves
till death.

The act passed by the legislature of Pennsylvania, on the 1st
day of March, 1780, entitled “An act for the gradual abolition
of Slavery,” provided that all coloured persons born in the state
after that date should be free. It required the owners of slaves,
i. e. of persons born previous to 1780, to register the name, age,
&c. of every such slave, with their own (the master’s) name,’ occupation,
residence &c, in a place designated, on or before the
1st day of November next ensuing the date of the act. It further
provided that all slaves not thus registered, should after the
said 1st of November be free. But to this provision there were
sundry exceptions, such as the slaves of members of congress
from other states, in attendance upon their masters during the
sessions of Congress,* the slaves of foreign ministers and consuls,
and of persons passing through or sojourning in the state,
but not residing therein, also seamen belonging to, and employed
on vessels belonging to the inhabitants of other states; these
continued slaves provided they were not sold to an inhabitant of
the state ” nor (except in the case of members of congress,
foreign ministers and consuls) retained in the state longer than
six months.”

The Abolition Act of Connecticut, which came next in order
of time, provided that all colored persons born in that state after
the 1st day of March, 1784, should be free on reaching the age
of twenty-five years, till which time they might be held in servitude. All slaves, born previous to that date, remained such for life.

The Act of Rhode Island was substantially the same with that
of Connecticut, and came into operation on the same day, 1st
of March, 1784.

The first Act of New York bears date the 29th day of March,
1799, and provides that all born of slaves after the 4th of July,
1799, should be held as slaves by the owners of their mothers,
until the males were twenty-eight years old and the females

Another Act was passed April 8th, 1801, not materially differing
from the former.

By a third Act, passed March 31st, 1817, it was provided that
all descendants of slaves born after the 4th of July, 1799, should
be free, but should continue in the service of the former owner.
” as if bound to service by the overseers of the poor”—males till
twenty-eight, and females till twenty-five years old; and all
born after the date of the last Act were to remain ” servants as
aforesaid until the age of twenty-one, and no longer.” The Act
of 1817 declared that all slaves within the state, born before the
4th of July, 1799, should, after the 4th of July, 1827, be free.

Slavery, strictly speaking, was terminated in New York in
1827. Still, however, the descendants of slaves, born after July
4th, 1799, were continued in service, as if bound; and this
species of service exists at this time, and will not cease with
some till 1845, with others till 1848.

The following is the legal remedy provided for these bound
servants in New York, in case of misusage or violations of the
conditions of service on the part of the master:

” If any master be guilty of any cruelty, &c., or any violations of the
provisions of this title (title 7, Part 2, chap. 8th, Revised Statutes), or of
the terms of the indenture or contract, towards any person bound to contract,
such persons may complain to any two justices of the peace of the
county, &c, who shall summon the parties before them, &<*., and may
by certificate under their hands, discharge such person from his obligations
of service.”-—[2 Revised Statutes, 91 ; section 32. ]

The Abolition Act of New Jersey went into effect on the 4th
day of July, 1804. It provided that all who were slaves on the
14th day of March, 1798, should continue such during life.
That every child born of a slave after the 4th of July, 1804?
should be free, but should remain in the service of the mother’s
owner, the same as if bound by the overseers of the poor ; if a
male until twenty-five, if a female until twenty-one years of age.
It made it the duty of the grand jury to indict any person for
inhumanly treating or abusing his slave; and the person so
offending was, on conviction, to be punished by a fine, not exceeding
forty dollars, for the use of the poor of the township.
It further provided that no slave should be admitted a witness
in any matter, except in criminal cases, where the evidence of
one slave may be admitted for or against another slave.

This last provision makes the preceding almost wholly a dead
letter ; for in the great majority of cases the only evidence would
be that of the slave and his fellows.

The New Jersey Act forbade the introduction of slaves into
the state, either for sale or servitude, under a penalty of forty
dollars, but inserted a provision to this effect, ” that this shall
not prevent any person from bringing his slaves, who shall remove
into this state to make a settled residence; nor foreigners, nor
others having only a temporary residence for the purpose of
transacting business, or on their travels, from bringing and employing
their slaves during their stay, provided each slave shall
not be sold, or disposed of in this state.”

If we understand this provision correctly, it opens the door
for any number of slaveholders to remove to this state and bring
their slaves. They may not only come from any place, but may
bring their slaves from any place. A citizen of New York or
Philadelphia may send to Washington and buy slaves, and then
remove to this state, and bring his slaves and hold them for life.
So that it does, in fact, give to citizens of other states greater
power than to its own citizens. Only that a citizen of New
Jersey, wishing to become a slaveholder, might remove to another
state, obtain his slaves, and then remove again to New Jersey
and hold them. A gentleman from Guadaloupe who brought
his servant to New York, was indicted for importing a slave, and
was obliged to declare him free. But a foreign traveller, from
Cuba, Brazil, or Africa, might bring a whole retinue of slaves to
New Jersey, and hold them under the statute during his stay.

In Illinois there is a system of indentured servitude or appren173
ticeship, and the constitution recognizes the masters as ” owners”
of the apprentices. This system is thus described in a religious
periodical published in the state of Illinois.

” Under the territorial government, by a legislative provision, slaveholders
were permitted to emigrate with their negroes, set them free, and
immediately indenture them for a term of years. The future progeny of
these servants may become free ; but the condition of the present race
differs not in a single particular, so far as to evils and restrictions, from
that of their colour in Missouri or Kentucky, except in one feature. There
(in Missouri or Kentucky) a slave is free at death—here he is legally
bound to serve ninety years after he is dead ! Cases existed in which
the indentures were drawn for ninety-nine years. If the ‘ servant’ died
within nine years, the indenture law holds him still in bondage.”

We will now notice the laws of free states affecting the slaves
brought thither from slave states for a temporary residence.

The Revised Statutes of the state of New York (Vol. I. pages
657, 658), provide as follows :

” Section 6th. Any person, not being an inhabitant of this state, who
shall be travelling to or from, or passing through this state, may bring
with him any person lawfully held in slavery, and may take such person
with him from this state. But the person so held in slavery shall not
reside or continue in this state more than nine months, and if such residence
be continued beyond that time, such person shall be free.

” Section 7th. Any person, who, or whose family, shall reside part of
the year in this state, and part of the year in any other state, may remove
and bring with him or them, from time to time, any person lawfully held
by him in slavery, into this state, and may carry such person with him
or them out of the state.”

By this statute slaves may be held in New York by nonresidents
for nine months ; and if their masters choose to make
a permanent residence in the state, they can retain their slaves
perpetually by removing them once every nine months out of the
state and returning with them the next day.

In Pennsylvania and Indiana, slaves may be held in the same
way six months ; in Rhode Island indefinitely as domestics. In
New Jersey ” persons making a temporary residence in the state
may bring their slaves and remove them again.”

By a law of congress passed February 12th, 1793, any state
magistrate is authorized to decide in the case of persons claimed
as fugitives from labor, or slaves. This manifestly unconstitutional
law has been set aside in New Jersey, Massachusetts,
and Vermont (in 1837), and in Connecticut (in 1838), by laws
granting a jury trial. Besides these, no other free states has
borne testimony against the unconstitutionality of this law,
although the legislatures of the free states have been repeatedly
petitioned to grant the trial by jury in such cases. On the contrary,
some of them have, with a gratuitous servility, proffered
and pledged their utmost assistance toward the arrest and return
of the fugitive to slavery. In this pro-slavery legislation, Illinois,
Indiana, and Ohio, have rendered themselves infamous;
Ohio pre-eminently so. At the instance of the state of Kentucky
the legislature of Ohio passed, February 26th, 1839, a
law containing the following remarkable provisions:

The first section enacts that any person claimed as a fugitive
from labor in any other state (meaning slaves) shall, on application
made by the master or his agent, to any judge or justice of
the peace, be delivered to the claimant; the judge or justice of
the peace being satisfied of the genuineness of the claim. A
trial by jury is in all cases denied the person claimed to be a

Another section makes it penal for any person or persons to
attempt to prevent the arrest of an alleged fugitive:
” Every person so offending shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined in
any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, or be imprisoned in the jail
of the county not exceeding sixty days, at the discretion of the court;
and shall, moreover, be liable in an action at the suit of the claimant.”

The fourth section provides that in case the claimant is not
prepared for trial, it may be postponed for a time not exceeding
sixty days ; and that in the meantime the person arrested must
be committed to jail to await trial.

Section sixth we quote entire ; it is in the following words :

” If any person or persons in this state shall counsel, advise, or entice
any other person, who by the laws of another state, shall owe labor, or
service to any other person, or persons, to leave, abandon, abscond, or
escape from the person or persons to whom such labor or service according
to the laws of such other state is or may be due, or shall furnish
money or conveyance of any kind, or any other facility, with intent or
for the purpose of enabling such person, owing labor or service as afore175
said, to escape from or elude the claimant of such person owing labor or
service as aforesaid, knowing such person or persons to owe labor or service
as aforesaid, every person so offending shall, upon conviction thereof
by indictment, be fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars,
or be imprisoned in the jail of the county not exceeding sixty days, at
the discretion of the court; and shall, moreover, be liable in an action at
the suit of the party injured.”

The next section declares that if any one in the state, who
shall ” harbor or conceal any person owing labor or service, as
aforesaid, who may come into this state without the consent of
the person to whom such labor or service may be due/’ shall be
fined, or imprisoned as above.

Such are some of the provisions of this extraordinary Act,
which still stands unrepealed.


Twenty-first Question. What are the most striking features
of the laws of slave states affecting slaves? And what new
laws have been enacted since 1825?

Judge Stroud, in his ” Sketch of the Laws relating to Slavery
in the several states of the United States of America,” has embodied
the main features of American slavery in twelve propositions,
which we insert in this place, subjoining to each such laws,
judicial decisions, &c, as may serve to establish the truth of the
proposition and illustrate the spirit of the slave codes.

Proposition First. The master may determine the kind and
degree, and time of labour, to which the slave shall be subjected.

Most of the slave states have no law upon this subject. Consequently
the slaveholder violates none though he may drive the
slave to the field, and force him to work at the top of his strength
night and day, till he drops dead. In Georgia, South Carolina,
Louisiana, and Mississippi, there are laws professing to curtail
in some respects the power of the master over the duration of
the slave’s labor. The law of South Carolina prohibits the
working of slaves more than fifteen hours in the twenty-four,
and fourteen in winter.”—See 2 Brevard’s Digest of the Laws of
South Carolina, 243.

The law of Louisiana requires the master to allow his slaves
two and A half hours for ” rest” in the twenty four.—See 1
Martins Digest of the Laws of Louisiana, 610.

Proposition Second. The master may supply the slave with
such food and clothing only, both as to quantity and quality, as
he may think proper or find convenient.

In all the slave states except three, slaveholders would violate
no law if they forced their slaves, male and female, to go naked
or to starve. The North and South Carolina and Louisiana
codes contain provisions concerning food and clothing.

The law of North Carolina requires the master to furnish his
slave ” a quart of corn per day.”—See Haywood’s Manual of the
Laws of North Carolina, 524.

The allowance of clothing prescribed by the law of Louisiana
is for one half the year, one linen shirt and pantaloons.—Martins
Digest, 610. *

Proposition Third. The master may, at his discretion, inflict
any punishment upon the person of his slave.

By this it is not meant that there are no laws professing to
protect the life and limbs of the slave ; but that the slave derives
no actual protection from such laws. The following is an illustration.
Forty years since the state of North Carolina repealed
a law making imprisonment the penalty for the wilful and malicious
killing of a slave, and enacted in its stead a law prescribing
the same penalty for the malicious killing of a slave as for
the murder of a freeman. The following comments on this law,
we quote from ” American Slavery as it is,” page 148 :

” After declaring that he who is ‘ guilty of wilfully and maliciously
killing a slave, shall suffer the same punishment as if he had killed a
freeman / the act concludes thus :
c Provided always, this act shall not
extend to the person killing a slave outlawed by virtue of any act of
assembly of this state ; or to any slave in the act of resistance to his lawful
overseer, or master, or to any slave dying under moderate correction.’
Reader, look at this proviso. 1 . It gives free license to all persons to
kill outlawed slaves. Well, what is an outlawed slave ? A slave who
runs away, lurks in swamps, &c, and kills a hog or any other domestic
animal to keep himself from starving, is subject to a proclamation of outlawry
(Haywood’s Manual, 521); and then whoever finds him may
shoot him, tear him in pieces with dogs, burn him to death over a slow
fire, or kill him by any other tortures. 2. The proviso grants full license
to a master to kill his slave, if the slave resist him. The North Carolina
bench has decided that this law contemplates not only actual resistance
to punishment, &c, but also offering to resist. (Stroud’s Sketch, 37.)
If, for example, a slave undergoing the process of branding should resist
by pushing aside the burning stamp ; or if wrought up to frenzy by the
torture of the lash, he should catch and hold it fast ; or if he break loose
from his master and run, refusing to stop at his command; or if he
refuse to be flogged ; or struggle to keep his clothes on while his master
is trying to strip him ; if, in these, or any one of a hundred other
ways he resist, or offer, or threaten to resist the infliction ; or, if the
master attempt the violation of the slave’s wife, and the husband resist
his attempts without the least effort to injure him, but merely to shield
his wife from his assaults, this law does not merely permit, but it
authorizes the master to murder the slave on the spot.

” The brutality of these two provisos brands its authors as barbarians.
But the third cause of exemption could not be outdone by the legislation
of fiends. ‘ Dying under moderate correction !’ Moderate correction
and death—cause and effect ! • Provided always,’ says the law, ‘ this
act shall not extend to any slave dying under moderate correction !’ Here
is a formal proclamation of impunity to murder—an express pledge of
acquittal to all slaveholders who wish to murder their slaves, a legal absolution—
an indulgence granted before the commission of the crime ! Look
at the phraseology. Nothing is said of maimings, dismemberments, skull
fractures, of severe bruisings, or lacerations, or even of floggings ; but a
word is used the common-parlance import of which is, slight chastisement ;
it is not even whipping, but ‘ correction.’ And as if hypocrisy and
malignity were on the rack to outwit each other, even that weak word
must be still farther diluted ; so * moderate’ is added : and, to crown the
climax, compounded of absurdity, hypocrisy, and cold-blooded murder,
the legal definition of ‘moderate correction is covertly given ; which is,
any punishment that kills the victim. All inflictions are either moderate
or immoderate ; and the design of this law was manifestly to shield the
murderer from conviction, by carrying on its face the rule for its own interpretation
; thus advertising, beforehand, courts and juries, that the
fact of any infliction producing death, was no evidence that it was immoderate,
and that beating a man to death came within the legal meaning
of moderate correction!’ The design of the legislature of North Carolina
in framing this law is manifest ; it was to produce the impression
upon the world, that they had so high a sense of justice as voluntarily to
grant adequate protection to the lives of their slaves. This is ostentatiously
set forth in the preamble, and in the body of the law. That this was the most despicable hypocrisy, and that they had predetermined to
grant no such protection, notwithstanding the pains taken to get the
credit of it, is fully revealed by the proviso, which was framed in such a
way as to nullify the law, for the express accommodation of slaveholding
gentlemen murdering their slaves. All such, find in this proviso a convenient
accomplice before the fact, and a packed jury, with a ready-made
verdict of 4 not guilty,’ both gratuitously furnished by the government!
The preceding law and proviso are to be found in Haywood’s Manual,
530; also in Laws of Tennessee, Act of October 23, 1791 ; and in
Stroud’s Sketch, 37.”

The following judicial decisions of the highest courts in North
and South Carolina will serve still further to confirm the preceding
position. We quote from ” American Slavery as it is,”
page 143 :

” See Devereaux’s North Carolina Reports, 263.—Case of the State
vs. Mann, 1829 ; in which the Supreme Court decided, that a master who
shot at a female slave and wounded her, because she got loose from him
when he was flogging her, and started to run from him, had violated no
law, and could not be indicted. It has been decided by the highest
courts of the slave states generally, that assault and battery upon a slave
is not indictable as a criminal offence.

” The following decision on this point was made by the Supreme
Court of South Carolina, in the case of the State vs. Cheetwood, 2 Hill’s
Reports, 459:

” ‘ Protection of slaves.—The criminal offence of assault and battery
cannot, at common law, be committed on the person of a slave. For, notwithstanding
for some purposes a slave is regarded in law as a person,
yet generally he is a mere chattel personal, and his right of personal protection
belongs to his master, who can maintain an action of trespass for
the battery of his slave.

” ‘ There can be therefore no offence against the state for a mere beating
of a slave, unaccompanied by any circumstances of cruelty, or an
attempt to kill and murder. The peace of the state is not thereby
broken ; for a slave is not generally regarded as legally capable of being
within the peace of the state. He is not a citizen, and is not in that
character entitled to her protection’

“To the foregoing we add from the same work (page 144) the
following specimens of the laws of slave states, and of judicial
decisions embodying their spirit:

“ ‘ Any person may lawfully kill a slave, who has been outlawed for
running away and lurking in swamps, &c.’—Law of North Carolina ;
Judge Stroud’s Sketch of the Slave Laws, 103 ; Haywood’s Manual,
524. ‘ A slave endeavouring to entice another slave to run away, if provisions,
&c, he prepared for the purpose of aiding in such running away,
shall be punished with death. And a slave who shall aid the slave so
endeavouring to entice another slave to run away, shall also suffer
death.’—Law of South Carolina ; Stroud’s Sketch of Slave Laws, 103-4 ;
2 Brevard’s Digest, 233, 244. Another law of South Carolina provides
that if a slave shall, when absent from the plantation, refuse to be examined
by ‘ any white person,’ (no matter how crazy or drunk,) ‘ such
white person may seize and chastise him ; and if the slave shall strike
such white person, such slave may be lawfully killed.’—2 Brevard’s
Digest, 231.

” The following is a law of Georgia : ‘ If any slave shall presume to
strike any white person, such slave shall, upon trial and conviction before
the justice or justices, suffer such punishment for the first offence as they
shall think fit, not extending to life or limb ; and for the second offence,
death.’—Prince’s Digest, 450. The same law exists in South Carolina,
with this difference, that death is made the punishment for the third

” In both states, the law contains this remarkable proviso : ‘ Provided
always, that such striking be not done by the command and in the
defence of the person or property of the owner, or other person having
the government of such slave, in which case the slave shall be wholly
excused.’ According to this law, if a slave, by the direction of his
overseer, strike a white man who is beating said overseer’s dog, ‘ the
slave shall be wholly excused ;’ but if the white man has rushed upon the
slave himself, instead of the dog, and is furiously beating him, if the slave
strike back but a single blow, the legal penalty is, ‘ any punishment not
extending to life or limb ;’ and if the tortured slave has a second onset
made upon him, and, after suffering all but death, again strike back in
self-defence, the law kills him for it So, if a female slave, in obedience
to her mistress, and in defence of ‘ her property,’ strike a white man who
is kicking her mistress’s pet kitten, she ‘ shall be wholly excused,’ saith
the considerate law ; but if the unprotected girl, when beaten and kicked
herself, raise her hand against her brutal assailant, the law condemns
her to ‘ any punishment, not extending to life or limb ;’ and if a wretch
assail her again, and attempt to violate her chastity, and the trembling
girl, in her anguish and terror, instinctively raise her hand against him
in self-defence, she shall, saith the law, ‘ suffer deat.

” Reader, this diabolical law is the ‘ public opinion’ of Georgia and
South Carolina toward the slaves. This is the vaunted ‘protection’
afforded them by their ‘ high-souled chivalry.’ To show that the c public opinion of the slave states, far more effectually protects the property of
the master than the person of \\iq slave, the reader is referred to two laws
of Louisiana, passed in 1819. The one attaches a penalty < not exceeding
one thousand dollars,’ and ; imprisonment not exceeding two years,’
to the crime of ‘ cutting or breaking any iron chain or collar,’ which any
master of slaves has used to prevent their running away ; the other, a
penalty \ not exceeding five hundred dollars’ to ‘ wilfully cutting out the
tongue, putting out the eye, cruelly burning, or depriving any slave of
any limb! Look at it—the most horrible dismemberment conceivable
cannot be punished by a fine of more than five hundred dollars. The
law expressly fixes that as the utmost limit, and it may not be half that
sum ; not a single moment’s imprisonment stays the wretch in his career,
and the next hour he may cut out another slave’s tongue, or burn his
hand off. But let the same man break a chain put upon a slave, to keep
him from running away, and, besides paying double the penalty that
could be exacted from him for cutting off a slave’s legs, the law imprisons
him not exceeding two years!

” This law reveals the heart of slaveholders towards their slaves, their
diabolical indifference to the most excruciating and protracted torments
inflicted on them by ‘ any person ;’ it reveals, too, the relative protection
afforded by ‘ public opinion’ to the person of the slave, in appalling contrast
with the vastly surer protection which it affords to the master’s property
in the slave. The wretch who cuts out the tongue, tears out the
eyes, shoots off the arms, or burns off the feet of a slave, over a slow fire,
cannot legally be fined more than five hundred dollars ; but if he should
in pity loose a chain from his galled neck, placed there by the master to
keep him from escaping, and thus put his property in some jeopardy, he
may be fined one thousand dollars, and thrust into a dungeon for two
years ! and this, be it remembered, not for stealing the slave from the
master, nor for enticing, or even advising him to run away, or giving him
any information how he can effect his escape; but merely, because,
touched with sympathy for the bleeding victim, as he sees the rough iron
chafe the torn flesh at every turn, he removes it ;—and, as escape without
this incumbrance would be easier than with it, the master’s property
in the slave is put at some risk. For having caused this slight risk, the
law provides a punishment—fine not exceeding one thousand dollars,
and imprisonment not exceeding two years. We say slight risk, because
the slave may not be disposed to encounter the dangers, and hunger, and
other sufferings of the woods, and the certainty of terrible inflictions if
caught ; and if he should attempt it, the risk of losing him is small. An
advertisement of five lines will set the whole community howling on his
track ; and the trembling and famished fugitive is soon scented out in
Jhis retreat, and dragged back and delivered over to his tormentors.

“The preceding law is another illustration of the ‘ protection’ afforded to
the limbs and members of slaves, by \ public opinion’ among slaveholders.

” Here follow two other illustrations of the brutal indifference of
‘ public opinion’ to the torments of the slave, while ^it is full of zeal to
compensate the master, if any one disables his slave so as to lessen his
market value. The first is a law of South Carolina. It provides, that
if a slave, engaged in his owner’s service, be attacked by a person ‘ not
having sufficient cause for so doing,’ and if the slave shall be ‘ maimed or
disabled! by him, so that the owner suffers a loss from his inability to
labor, the person maiming him shall pay for his ‘lost time,’ and ‘also the
charges for the cure of the slave !’ This Vandal law does not deign to
take the least notice of the anguish of the ‘ maimed’ slave, made, perhaps
a groaning cripple for life ; the horrible wrong and injury done to Mm, is
passed over in utter silence. It is thus declared to be not a criminal act.
But the pecuniary interests of the master are not to be thus neglected by
6 public opinion.’ Oh, no ! its tender bowels run over with sympathy at
the master’s injury in the ‘ lost time’ of his slave, and it carefully provides
that he shall have pay for the whole of it.—See 2 Brevard’s Digest^
231, 232.

” A law similar to the above has been passed in Louisiana, which
contains an additional provision for the benefit of the master—ordaining,
that ‘ if the slave’ (thus maimed and disabled,’) ‘ be for ever rendered unable
to work,’ the person maiming shall pay the master the appraised
value of the slave before the injury, and shall, in addition, take the slave,
and maintain him during life.’ This ( public opinion’ transfers the helpless
cripple from the hand of his master, who, as he has always had the
benefit of his services, might possibly feel some tenderness for him, and
puts him in the sole power of the wretch who has disabled him for life
—protecting the victim from the fury of his tormentor, by putting him
into his hands ! What but butchery by piecemeal can, under such circumstances,
be expected from a man brutal enough at first to ‘ maim’ and
‘ disable’ him, and now exasperated by being obliged to pay his full value
to the master, and to have, in addition, the daily care and expense of his
maintenance. Since writing the above, we have seen the following judicial
decision, in the case of Jourdan vs. Patton—5 Martin’s Louisiana
Reports, 615. A slave of the plaintiff had been deprived of his only eye
and thus rendered useless, on which account the court adjudged that the
defendant should pay the plaintiff his full value. The case went up, by
appeal, to the Supreme court. Judge Mathews, in his decision, said,
that ‘when the defendant had paid the sum decreed, the slave ought to
be placed in his possession,’— -adding, that ‘ the judgment making full
compensation to the owner operates a change of property.’ He adds, ‘ The principle of humanity, which would lead us to suppose that the mistress
whom he had long served would treat her miserable blind slave with
more kindness than the defendant, to whom the judgment ought to transfer
him, cannot be taken into consideration !’ The full compensation
of the mistress for the loss of the services of the slave, is worthy of all
i consideration,’ even to the uttermost farthing ; * public opinion is omnipotent
for her protection ; but when the food, clothing, shelter, fire and
lodging, medicine and nursing, comfort and entire condition and treatment
of her poor blind slave, throughout his dreary pilgrimage, is the
question- –ah ! that, says the mouth-piece of the law, and the representative
of ‘ public opinion,’ cannot be taken into consideration/ Protection
of slaves by public opinion’ among slaveholders !!

” The foregoing illustrations of southern ‘ public opinion,’ from the laws
made by it and embodying it, are sufficient to show, that, so far from
being an efficient protection to the slaves, it is their deadliest foe, prosecutor,
and tormentor.

” But here we shall probably be met by the legal lore of some ‘ Justice
Shallow,’ instructing us that the life of the slave is fully protected by law,
however unprotected he may be in other respects. This assertion we
meet with a point blank denial. The law does not, in reality, protect the
life of the slave. But even if the letter of the law would fully protect
the life of the slave, ‘public opinion’ in the slave states would make it a
dead letter. The letter of the law would have been all-sufficient for the
protection of the lives of the miserable gamblers in Yicksburg, and other
places in Mississippi, from the rage of those whose money they had won ;
but ‘gentlemen of property and standing’ laughed the law to scorn,
rushed to the gamblers’ house, put ropes round their necks, dragged them
through the streets, hanged them in the public square, and thus saved
the sum they had not yet paid. Thousands witnessed this wholesale
murder, yet of the scores of legal officers present, not a soul raised a finger
to prevent it, the whole city consented to it, and thus aided and
abetted it. How many hundreds of them helped to commit the murders,,
with their own hands, does not appear, but not one of them has been
indicted for it, and no one made the least effort to bring them to trial.
Thus, up to the present hour, the blood of those murdered men rests on
that whole city, and. it will continue to he a city of murderers, so long
as its citizens agree together to shield those felons from punishment ; and
they do thus agree together so long as they encourage each other in refusing
to bring them to justice. Now, the laws of Mississippi were not in
fault that those men were murdered ; nor are they now in fault, that
their murderers are not punished ; the laws demand it, but the people
of Mississippi, the legal officers, the grand juries and legislature of the
state, with one consent agree, that the law shall be a dead letter, and thus
the whole state assumes the guilt of those murders, and in bravado,
flourishes her reeking hands in the face of the world.

” The letter of the law on the statute book is one thing, the practice of
the community under that law often a totally different thing. Each of
the slave states has laws providing that the life of no white man shall be
taken without his having first been indicted by a grand jury, allowed an
impartial trial by a petit jury, with the right of counsel, cross-examination
of witnesses, &c. ; but who does not know that if Arthur Tappan
were pointed out in the streets of New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah,
Charleston, Natchez, or St. Louis, he would be torn in pieces by the
citizens with one accord, and that if any one should attempt to bring his
murderers to punishment, he would be torn in pieces also. The editors
of southern newspapers openly vaunt, that every abolitionist who sets
foot in their soil, shall, if he be discovered, be hung at once, without
judge or jury. What mockery to quote the letter of the law in those
states, to show that abolitionists would have secured to them the legal
protection of an impartial trial!

” Before the objector can make out his case, that the life of the slave
is protected by the law, he must not only show that the words of the law
grarft him such protection, but that such a state of public sentiment
exists as will carry out the provisions of the law in their true spirit. Anything
short of this will be set down as mere prating, by every man of
common sense. It has been already abundantly shown in the preceding
pages, that the public sentiment of the slaveholding states toward the
slaves is diabolical. Now, if there were laws in those states, the words
of which granted to the life of the slave the same protection granted to
that of the master, what would they avail ? Acts, constitute protection ;
and is that public sentiment which makes the slave ‘ property,’ and perpetrates
hourly robbery and batteries upon him, so penetrated with a
sense of the sacredness of his right to life, that it will protect it at all
hazards, and drag to the gallows his owner, if he take the life of his own
property ?

” Enough has been said to show, that though the laws of the slave
states profess to grant adequate protection to the life of the slave, such
professions are mere empty pretence, no such protection being in reality
afforded by them. But there is still another fact, showing that all laws
which profess to protect the slaves from injury by the whites are a
mockery. It is this—that the testimony, neither of a slave nor of a free
colored person, is legal testimony against a white. To this rule there is
Jio exception in any of the slave states : and this, were there no other
evidence, would be sufficient to stamp, as hypocritical, all the provisions of the codes which profess to protect the slaves, Professing to grant
protection, while, at the same time, it strips them of the only means hy
which they can make that protection available ! Injuries must he legally
proved before they can be legally redressed ; to deprive men of the power
ofproving their injuries, is itself the greatest of all injuries ; for it not
only exposes to aft, but invites them, by a virtual guarantee of impunity,
and is thus the author of all injuries. It matters not what other laws
exist, professing to throw safeguards round the slave—this makes them
blank paper. How can a slave prove outrages perpetrated upon him by
his master or overseer, whenhis own testimony and that of all his fellowslaves,
his kindred, associates, and acquaintances, are ruled out of court ?
and when he is entirely in the power of those who injure him, and when
the only care necessary, on their part, is, to see that no white witness is
looking on. Ordinarily, but one white man, the overseer, is with the
slaves while they are at labor ; indeed, on most plantations, to commit
an outrage in the presence of a white witness would be more difficult
than in their absence. He who wished to commit an illegal act upon a
slave, instead of being obliged to take pains and watch for an opportunity
to do it unobserved by a white, would find it difficult to do it in the presence
of a white if he wished to do so. The supreme court of Louisiana,
in their decision, in the case of Crawford vs. Cherry, 15, (Martin’s *La-
Hep. 142 ; also ‘ Law of Slavery,’ 249) where the defendant was sued
for the value of a slave whom he had shot and killed, say, £ The act
charged here, is one rarely committed in the presence of witnesses’
(whites). So in the case of the State vs. Mann {T>evereux, N. C. Rep.
263 ; and ‘ Law of Slavery,’ 247), in which the defendant was charged
with shooting a slave girl ‘ belonging’ to the plaintiff ; the supreme court
of North Carolina, in their decision, speaking of the provocations of the
master by the slave, and the consequent wrath of the master prompting
him to bloody vengeance, add, ‘ a vengeance generally practised with impunity,
by reason of its privacy.’\
” Laws excluding the testimony of slaves and free colored persons,
where a white is concerned, do not exist in all the slave states. One or
two of them have no legal enactment on the subject ; but, in those,
”public opinion acts with the force of law, and the courts invariably
reject it. This brings us back to the potency of that oft-quoted ‘ public
opinion,’ so ready, according to our objector, to do battle for the protection
of the slave !”

Proposition Fourth. All the power of the master over his
slave may be exercised not by himself only in person, but by any
one whom he may depute as his agent.
This practice throughout all the slaveholding states is uniform.
The following law of the state of Louisiana is an illustration.

” The condition of a slave being merely a passive one, his subordination
to his master and to all who represent him is not susceptible of any
modification or restriction (except in what can excite the slave to tbe
commission of crime), in such manner that he owes to his master and to
all his family a respect without bounds, and an absolute obedience, (1
Martins Digest, 616.)

Proposition Fifth. Slaves have no legal rights of property
in things real or personal, but whatever they may acquire belongs
in point of law to their masters.

To quote in detail the laws of slaveholding states to establish
a proposition which none will question, would be useless. For
the benefit of such, however, as may have access to the legal
codes of our slaveholding states, we subjoin the following references.
James’ Digest of the Laws of South Carolina, 385,
386. Prince’s Digest of the Laws of Georgia, 453 and 457.
Revised Code of Mississippi, 375, 389. Laws of Tennessee,
cha*pter 135. Missouri Laws, 743* Haywood’s Manual of the
Laws of North Carolina, 526, 534. Kitty’s Laws of Maryland,
chapter 15, section 6. Civil Code of Louisiana, article
175 945.

Proposition Sixth. The slave, being a personal chattel, is
at all times liable to be sold absolutely, or mortgaged or leased
at the will of his master.

In proof that American slaves are ” Chattels personal in the
hands of their owners, possessors, executors, administrators, and
assigns, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever,”
we refer to Brevard’s Digest, 229, and Prince’s Digest, 446.
To make specific quotations establishing the liabilities of chattels
personal, as stated in the proposition, would be quite unnecessary.
The law of Louisiana is an exception, in that state
slaves are real estate, and not personal chattels.

Proposition Seventh. The slave may also be sold by process
of law for the satisfaction of the debts of a living, or the
debts and bequests of a deceased master, at the suit of creditors
or legatees.—See Laws of American Slave States, passim.
Proposition Eighth. A slave cannot be a party before a
judicial tribunal in any species of action against his master—no
matter how atrocious may have been the injury received from

It would be needless to prove what is notoriously unquestionable.

Proposition Ninth. Slaves cannot redeem themselves nor
obtain a change of masters; though cruel treatment may have
rendered such change necessary for their personal safety.

Upon this proposition Judge Stroud remarks ; ” this proposition
holds good as to the right of redemption in all the slaveholding
states, and equally true is it as respects the right to
compel a change of masters except in Louisiana. The new civil
code of that state contains a regulation by which the latter privilege
may sometimes perhaps be obtained by the slave. Yet
the conditions are such that it needs strong proof to induce the
belief that the law has ever been called into action.”

Proposition Tenth. Slaves being objects of property, if injured
by third persons, their owners may bring suit and recover
damages for the injury.

The following are Judge Stroud’s remarks.

” Taken strictly, this does not operate as a shield to the slave against
corporal aggression ; unless the violence used is so great as to deteriorate
the property of the master. And so a decision of the Supreme Court
of Maryland has established the law to be in that state. ‘ There must
be a loss of service or at least a diminution of the faculty of the slave
for bodily labour to warrant an action by the master.’ 1 Harris and
Johnson s Reports 4.”

Proposition Eleventh. Slaves can make no contract.

This follows of course from the preceding propositions.

Proposition Twelfth. Slavery is hereditary and perpetual.

Here also quotations are needless.

To the preceding propositions we add that the penal codes of
the slaveholding states bear much more severely upon slaves
than upon free white persons. Upon this point we quote the
following remarks from ” American Slavery as it is.”

” The following legal penalties are by the laws of slave states attached
to the various acts of slaves therein described. If more than seven
slaves are found together in any road without a white person in company
the penalty is twenty lashes apiece.

” For visiting a plantation without a written pass, ten lashes ; for letting
loose a boat from where it was made fast, thirty-nine lashes for the
first offence ; and for the second, ‘ shall have cut offfrom 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 travelling in
any other than ‘ the most usual and accustomed road,’ when going alone
to any place, forty lashes ; for travelling in the night, without a pass,
forty lashes ; 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-Jive
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, not extending to life,
or so as to render him unfit for labor. The laws referred to may be
found by consulting 2 Brevard’s Digest, 228, 243, 246 ; Haywood’s Manual,
78, chap. 13, pp. 518, 529 ; 1 Virginia Revised Code, 722, 723;
Prince’s Digest, 454 ; 2 Missouri Laws, 741 ; Mississippi Revised Code.
371. Laws similar to these exist throughout the southern slave code.

The laws of slave states inflict capital punishment on slaves for a variety
of crimes, for which, if their masters commit them, the legal penalty
is merely imprisonment. Judge Stroud, in his Sketch of the Laws
of Slavery, says, that, by the laws of Virginia, there are c seventy«-one
crimes for which slaves are capitally punished, though in none of these
are whites punished in a manner more severe than by imprisonment in
the penitentiary ‘ft (p. 107, where the reader will find all the crimes
enumerated). It should be added, however, that though the penalty
for each of these seventy-one crimes is ‘ death,’ yet a majority of them
are, in the words of the law, ‘death within clergy;’ and in Virginia,
clergyable offences, though technically capital, are not so in fact. In
Mississippi, slaves are punished capitally for more than thirty crimes,
for which whites are punished only by fine or imprisonment, or both.
Eight of these are not recognised as crimes, either by common law or by
statute, when committed by whites. In South Carolina slaves are punished six—and in Kentucky, for seven more than whites, &c. We surely need
not detain the reader by comments on this monstrous inequality with
which the penal codes of slave states treat slaves and their masters.
When we consider that guilt is in proportion to intelligence, and that
these masters have by law doomed their slaves to ignorance, and then,
as they darkle and grope along their blind way, inflict penalties upon
them for a variety of acts regarded as praiseworthy in whites ; killing
them for crimes, when whites are only fined or imprisoned—to call such
a ‘ public opinion’ inhuman, savage, murderous, diabolical, would be to
use tame words, if the English vocabulary could supply others of more
horrible import.

” But slaveholding brutality does not stop here. While punishing the
slaves for crimes with vastly greater severity than it does their masters
for the same crimes, and making a variety of acts crimes in law, which
are right, and often duties^ it persists in refusing to make known to the
slaves that complicated and barbarous penal code which loads them with
such fearful liabilities. The slave is left to get a knowledge of these
laws as he can, and cases must be of constant occurrence at the south,
in which slaves get their first knowledge of the existence of a law by
suffering its penalty. Indeed, this is probably the way in which they
commonly learn what the laws are; for how else can the slave get a
knowledge of the laws ? He cannot read—he cannot learn to read ; if
he try to master the alphabet, so that he may spell out the words of the
law, and thus avoid its penalties, the law shakes its terrors at him ; while
at the same time, those who made the laws refuse to make them known
to those for whom they are designed. The memory of Caligula will
blacken with execration while time lasts, because he hung up his laws
so high that people could not read them, and then punished them because
they did not keep them. Our slaveholders aspire to blacker infamy.
Caligula was content with hanging up his laws where his subjects
could see them ; and if they could not read them, they knew where they
were, and might get at them, if, in their zeal to learn his will, they had
used the same means to get up to them that those did who hung them
there. Even Caligula, wretch as he was, would have shuddered at cutting
their legs off, to prevent their climbing to them ; or, if they had
got there, at boring their eyes out, to prevent their reading them. Our
slaveholders virtually do both ; for they prohibit their slaves acquiring
that knowledge of letters which would enable them to read the laws ;
and if, by stealth, they get it in spite of them, they prohibit them books
and papers, and flog them if they are caught at them. Further—Caligula
merely hung up his laws so high that they could not be read—our
slaveholders have hung theirs, so high above the slave that they cannot
be seen—they are utterly out of sight, and he finds out that they are
there only by the falling of the penalties on his head.* Thus the ‘ public
opinion’ of slave states protects the defenceless slave by arming a
host of legal penalties and setting them in ambush at every thicket
along his path, to spring upon him unawares.

Stroud, in his Sketch of the Laws of Slavery, page 100, thus
comments on this monstrous barbarity :

” ‘The hardened convict moves their sympathy, and is to be taught the
laws before he is expected to obey them ;t yet the guiltless slave is subjected
to an extensive system of cruel enactments, of no part of which,
probably, has he ever heard.’

As the ” most striking features of the laws of slave states affecting”
the moral and intellectual condition of the slaves will be
exhibited in reply to subsequent queries, we need not introduce
them here.

In reply to the inquiry respecting the new laws which have
been enacted since 1825, we remark that we know of no laws
enacted since that period which materially alter the condition of
slaves in any of the slaveholding states. In many of the states,
however, laws have been enacted since 1825, increasing the privations
and disabilities of the free people of colour.


Twenty-second Question. Do any means exist of ascertaining the waste of life occasioned by the culture of any of the products of slave labor on the unexhausted soils of the new states ?

There is abundant evidence that the waste of life is prodigious ; though the precise amount of the waste cannot be easily ascertained. The following considerations will give some conception of the fearful expenditure of human life.

1. The testimony which has already been given respecting the condition and treatment of the field slaves, the defective quality and quantity of their food, their inadequate clothing, shelter and lodging, the habitual severity of their labor, the insufficiency of the time allotted for sleep, and the violent flogings, long fastings, and protracted confinements inflicted as punishments, are grounds on which you may fairly conclude that the waste of life is vast.

2. The statements made respecting the neglect of the sichf with the testimony of unimpeachable witnesses that it is common not to employ a physican when slaves are sick, are further evidence in point. What can be the result of such utter inattention to the sick but a shocking waste of life ?

3. The immense importation of slaves into the planting states, by means of the internal and foreign slave trades, argue a great waste of life. What can give rise to so large and constant a demand for slaves but an enormous consumption of them ? What can call for such vast annual conscriptions but the mowing down of whole ranks on the field of death? Certainly the clearing of new lands, and the settlement of new states, are causes utterly incompetent to account for the great demand for slaves in the far south and south-west.

4. But we have still more decisive proof on this point in the declarations of planters themselves, that they consider it profitable to work a gang of slaves to death every seven years, since the extra amount of labor thereby extorted from them will much more than pay for a new supply of hands. A variety of testimony establishing this point, has been already inserted in reply to the 9th query ; ” the features of slavery in the consuming states.”


Twenty-third Question. Have American citizens any interest in slavery in foreign countries, as owners or mortgagees, and to what probable extent?

We are not able to give very definite information under this query. It is well known, however, that merchants and others in the free states own slaves in several of the West India islands, especially in Cuba. The number of persons in the free states, thus implicated in foreign slaveholding, is probably, far from being small, and we have reason to believe is annually increasing.


Twenty-fourth Question. Are vessels adapted only to the slave-trade (or piracy) openly built in American ports ?


Twenty-fifth Question. To what ascertained or supposed
extent are the citizens and flag of the United States, engaged in
the slave carrying trade from Africa for the supply of foreign
countries ?

We regret our inability to give more full information on the
subject embraced in these queries. What we shall furnish will
afford some insight into this mystery of abominations, and show
that the number of vessels built in American ports, and expressly
designed for the foreign slave-trade is very great.

The following testimony is quoted from Jay’s View, p. 111.

“The Boston Express of 17th December, 1838, thus gives the substance
of the statements made by Mr. Elliott Cresson, of the Pennsylvania
Colonization Society, in a public address delivered a few days before in
Boston :—

“‘ Out of 177 slave ships which arrive at Cuba every year, five-sixths are
owned and fitted ouffrom ports in the United States ; and the enormous
profits accruing from their voyages remitted to this country. One house
in New York received lately for its share alone the sum of 250,000
dollars. Baltimore is largely interested in this accursed traffic as well
as New York—and even Boston, with all her religion and morality,
does not disdain to increase her wealth by a participation in so damnable
a business. A gentleman of the highest respectability lately informed
Mr. Cresson, that a sailor in this city told him that he had received
several hundred dollars of hush money, to make him keep silent, and when he mentioned the names of his employers, the gentleman says he
was actually afraid to repeat them, so high do they stand in society. A
captain in the merchant service, from New York, was lately offered his
own terms hy two different houses, provided he would undertake a slave

” Of the truth of these statements we know nothing.”

The annexed paragraph is from the same work, p. 107.

“In 1819, Judge Story, of the Supreme Court of the United States,
in a charge to a grand jury, thus expresses himself:—’ We have but too
many proofs from unquestionable sources, that it (the African trade) is
still carried on with all the implacable ferocity and insatiable rapacity
of former times. Avarice has grown more subtle in its evasions, and
watches and seizes its prey with an appetite quickened rather than suppressed
by its guilty vigils, American citizens are steeped to their very
mouths (I can scarcely use too bold a figure,) in this stream of iniquity.'”

The subjoined statements are extracted from the ” First
Annual Report of the New York Committee of Vigilance for the
year 1837/’ p. 33, 34.

” A gentleman in this city, whose name we are not at liberty to mention,
an owner of Texan lands, informed a member of our Executive Committee,
a few months since, that another gentleman, in this city, also
an owner of Texan lands, had, a short time previous, formally proposed
to him to invest funds in a ship to go into the slave-trade
from Africa to Texas, assuring him that an immense profit would he
realized on the investment!

” The New Orleans Bulletin of December 10, declares ? on high
authority, that the Texan government intends entering a formal complaint
to the Cabinet at Washington, against the practice pursued by
American citizens, of introducing into their territory, in vessels belonging
to the United States, negroes, coming from other quarters than this Union ;
and further, that their ministers at Washington, will be instructed to
ask of our government, that a vessel be ordered to cruise along their
coast, to prevent such introduction, and also that a small force be
stationed at the mouth of the Sabine, to guard against their being landed
on the coast of the United States and immediately transferred to the Texan
territory—thus publishing it to the world, that the foreign slave-trade is
extensively carried on from Africa to Texas ‘ by American Citizens,’
and * in vessels belonging to the United States !”

The following is from the Emancipator (New York), Nov. 28,

(” From the Journal of Commerce.)
” Havana, Oct. 25, 1839.—By an arrival from Bahia, in a very short
passage, we learn that the slave factories at Onin, on the coast of Africa
have been destroyed by the natives, and that establishment for the present
entirely broken up. The interests destroyed, belonged to some of
our principal citizens, and from thence an immense traffic in slaves was
carried on by vessels under many flags, particularly the American. A
large amount of goods was burnt and pillaged.”

A late number of the New York Commercial Advertiser contains the following.
” Good.—The Baltimore Chronicle of yesterday contains this little,
but meaning paragraph :

” ‘We regret to learn that three gentlemen of this city, occupying
respectable positions in society, were arrested and held to bail on Saturday,
upon a charge of being concerned in fitting out vessels designed to
be employed in the slave-trade.’

” We call this good news—not because we hope that the three gentlemen
will be proved guilty, but simply because we are glad to find that
inquiry is to be made into the charges so frequently brought against
Baltimore, of late, imputing to her citizens an active participation in that hideous traffic'”

The following paragraphs went the round of the papers last Fall

“Slave Ships.—CapL Fitzgerald, of the British sloop of war, Buzzard,
arrived at quarantine yesterday, bringing with him from Barbados, two
prize vessels, the Eagle and the Clara, which were captured while cruising
as slavers. They were seized within three months of each ether, on
the coast of Africa, before they had actually engaged in the traffic, but
on the ground that they were furnished with all the implements and
tools of the trade. Since their capture, the crews of both vessels have
admitted that their object was to procure slaves. One of the captains is
a native of New York, and the other of Philadelphia. The design of
this visit is to deliver the offenders to the American authorities for trial,,
In consequence of an application made yesterday afternoon to the United
States court, the deputy United States marshal went down to quarantine
to take the officers into custody.”

” The Slavers, the Eagle and Clara, brought to New York a short
time since by the English brig of war, Buzzard, are to sail in a few days
for Jamaica, the United States government having declined to exercise
any jurisdiction over them. The object of the federal authorities in neglecting
to bring this subject before the judicial tribunals of the United
States, is undoubtedly to prevent any light from falling upon the flagrant
proceedings of Mr. Consul Trist, in reference to the slave-trade, so extensively
carried on from Havana under his immediate auspices. What
cares Yan Buren, for the requirements of the Constitution and the laws,
or the claims of injured humanity, when they conflict with his electioneering
prospects at the South?”

The Cincinnati (Ohio) Gazette of October, 1839, after quoting
the latter of the above paragraphs, thus comments upon it.

” The American government have, it would seem, determinately set
their faces against taking any part in suppressing the African slave-trade.
In this there is strong reason to believe that the voice of a vast majority is
ready, at this moment, to sustain them. It is a strange revulsion of public
sentiment and. of public feeling. One cannot repress surprise at its universality.
Nothing can be effected for good by any speculations on the
matter, we, therefore, content ourselves by merely noticing the facts.”


Twenty-sixth Question. What provision is made for the
education of the slaves, and what obstacles exist to the advancement
of education among them?

So far from any provision being made for the education of
the slaves, it is either entirely prohibited or universally discouraged.
In some of the states the education of the slave is
expressly forbidden by law, and any attempt made to educate
them, whether by whites or blacks, is severely punished. In
some of the less important slaveholding states, instruction in
letters is not prohibited by law ; but it is effectually prevented
by public opinion. Such is the case in Kentucky.

The following are a few specimens of the laws which forbid
the education of*slaves. Jay’s Inquiry—p. 136.

” A law of South Carolina passed in 1800, authorizes the infliction of
twenty lashes on every slave found in an assembly convened for the purpose
of ‘ mental instruction,’ held in a confined orsecret place, although
in the presence of a white. Another law imposes a fine of £100 on
any person who may teach a slave to write. An act of Virginia, of 1829,
declares every meeting of slaves at any school by day or night, for instruction
in reading or writing, an unlawful assembly ; and any justice
may inflict twenty lashes on each slave found in such school.

In North Carolina, to teach a slave to read or write, or to sell or
give him any book {bible not excepted) or pamphlet, is punished with
thirty- nine lashes, or imprisonment if the offender be a free negro, but
if a white, then with a fine of 200 dollars. The reason for this law assigned
in its preamble is, that ‘ teaching slaves to read and write, tends
to excite dissatisfaction in their minds, and to produce insurrection and

“In Georgia, if a white teach a free negro or slave to read or write, he
is fined 500 dollars, and imprisoned at the discretion of the court ; if the
offender be a colored man, bond or free, he is to be fined or whipped at
the discretion of the court. Of course a father may be flogged for teaching
his own child. This barbarous law was enacted in 1829.

” In Louisiana, the penalty for teaching slaves to read or write, is one
year’s imprisonment.

” These are specimens of the efforts made by slave legislatures, to enslave
the minds of their victims ; and we have surely no reason to hope
that their souls are regarded with more compassion.”
The reason honestly assigned in the preamble to the North
Carolina law, i. e. that u teaching slaves to read or write tends
to excite dissatisfaction in their minds, and to produce insurrection
and rebellion,” is doubtless the ground of all these prohibitory
enactments. The law of South Carolina in 1740 says,
” The allowing of slaves to read would be attended with many
inconveniences.” In plain English, education is regarded as
positively inconsistent with slavery, and its prohibition as indispensable
to the continuance of the system.

But let us see what is the extent of instruction in those states
which do not expressly interdict it by statute. We have specified
Kentucky as an example of this nature, and she is perhaps
the fairest specimen among all the slaveholding states. The
following testimony is quoted from the address of the Kentucky
Synod already referred to.

“Slavery dooms thousands of human beings to hopeless ignorance.
Throughout our whole land,* so far as we can learn, there is but one
school in which, during the week, slaves can be taught. Here and there
a family is found, where humanity and religion impel the master, mistress, or children, to the laborious task of private instruction. But after all, what is the utmost amount of instruction given to slaves ?

Those who enjoy the most of it are fed with but the crumbs of knowledge which fall from their master’s table. The impression is almost universal, that intellectual elevation unfits men for servitude, and renders it impossible to retain them in this condition. Hence in some of our states, laws have been enacted, prohibiting, under severe penalties, the instruction of the blacks ; and even where such laws do not exist, there are formidable numbers who oppose with deep hostility every effort to enlighten the mind of the negro!’


Twenty-seventh Question. What number ofslaves can read in proportion to the population?

From the statements just made it may be inferred that the number is very inconsiderable. In those states where education is punished by fines, stripes, and imprisonment we ma conclude that none learn to read, save perhaps a few domestics, who steal their letters from the children of their masters. Even in Kentucky the number that can read is exceedingly small as appears from the testimony of the Presbyterian Synod of that state.

The hostility of many whites and the indifference of the remainder, must for ever keep the great body of slaves, even in Kentucky, in abject ignorance. The Western Luminary, a religious periodical, published a few years since in Lexington, Kentucky, says,

” It is a well known fact that to meet with a black person who can
read and understand the bible is considered a phenomenon, and excites
wonder and astonishment. “When it is said that Kentucky has been
supplied with the bible, let it be remembered that one fourth of her po-r
pulation are as ignorant of its contents as if they were not inhabitants
of a Christian country.”


Twenty-eighth Question. Do the slaves enjoy any religious
privileges ?

Their religious privileges are but little superior to their educational.
Religion seems to be regarded as a foe not less dangerous
to slavery than education itself.

We quote the following abstract of the principal laws of the
slave states pertaining to the religious privileges of the slaves
from Jay’s Inquiry—pp, 136, 137.

” In vain has the Redeemer of the world given the command to preach
the gospel to every creature; his professed disciples in the slave states have
issued a counter order; and, as we have already seen, have, by their laws,
incapacitated 2,000,000 of their fellow-men from complying with the injunction,
‘Search the scriptures.’ Not only are the slaves debarred from
reading the Avonderful things of God—they are practically prevented with
a few exceptions from even hearing of them.

” In Georgia, any justice of the peace may, at his discretion, break up
any religious assembly of slaves, and may order each slave present to be
‘ corrected without trial, by receiving, on the bare back, twenty-five
stripes with a whip, switch, or cow-skin.

” In South Carolina, slaves may not meet together for the purpose of
‘ religious worship ‘ before sunrise or after sunset, unless the majority of
the meeting be composed of white persons, under the penalty of ‘twenty
lashes well laid on/ As it will be rather difficult for the slave to divine,
before he goes to the meeting, how many blacks, and how many whites
will be present, and of course which color will have the ‘ majority,’ a
due regard for his back will keep him from the meeting.

” In Virginia, all evening meetings of slaves at any meeting house,
are unequivocally forbidden.

” In Mississippi, the law permits the master to surfer his slave to attend
the preaching of a white minister.

” It is very evident that when public opinion tolerates such laws, it
will not tolerate the general religious instruction of the slaves.”

We quote some additional statements from the same writer.—
pp. 137—139.
” On this, as well as on every other subject relating to slavery, we
would rather fall short of, than exceed the truth. We will not assert
there are no Christians among the slaves, for we trust there are some.
When, however, we recollect, that they are denied the scriptures, and all
the usual advantages of the Sunday-school, and are forbidden to unite
among themselves in acts of social worship and instruction, and that almost
all the sermons they hear, are such as are addressed to educated
whites, and of course above their own comprehension, we may form some
idea of the obstacles opposed to their spiritual improvement. Let it be
recollected, that every master possesses the tremendous power of keeping
his slaves in utter ignorance of their Makers will, and of their own immortal
destinies. And now with all these facts and their consequences
and tendencies in remembrance, we ask, if we do not make a most abundant
and charitable allowance when we suppose that 245,000 slaves possess
a saving knowledge of the religion of Christ ? And yet after this admission, one which probably no candid person will think too limited,
there will remain in the bosom of our country two millions of human
beings, who, in consequence of our laws, are in a state of heathenism!
But probably many will refuse their assent to this conclusion, without
further and more satisfactory evidence of its correctness. To such persons
we submit the following testimony, furnished by slaveholders themselves.
In 1831, the Rev. Charles C. Jones preached a sermon before
two associations of planters in Georgia, one of Liberty County, and the
other of Mcintosh County. This sermon is before us, and we quote
from it.

“‘ Generally speaking they (the slaves) appear to us to be without
God and without hopei in the world, a nation of heathens in our very
midst.—We cannot cry out against the Papists for withholding the scriptures
from the common people, and keeping them in ignorance of the
way of life ; for we withhold the bible from our servants, and keep them
in ignorance of it, while we will not use the means to have it read and
explained to them. The cry of our perishing servants comes up to us
from the sultry plains as they bend at their toil—it comes up to us from
their humble cottages when they return at evening to rest their weary
limbs—it comes up to us from the midst of their ignorance, and superstition,
and adultery, and lewdness. We have manifested no emotions
of horror at abandoning the souls of our servants to the adversary, the
roaring lion that walketh about seeking whom he may devour.’

” On the 5th December, 1833, a committee of the Synod of South
Carolina and Georgia, to whom was referred the subject of the religious
instruction of the coloured population, made a report which has been
published, and in which this language is used.

” Who would credit it, that in these years of revival and benevolent
effort, in this Christian republic, there are over two millions of human
beings in the condition of heathen, and in some respects in a worse
condition. From long continued and close observation, we believe that
their moral and religious condition is such that they may justly be considered
the heathen of this Christian country, and will bear comparison
with heathen in any country in the world. The negroes are destitute of
the gospel, and ever will be under the present state of things. In the
vast field extending from an entire state beyond the Potomac to the
Sabine river, and from the Atlantic to the Ohio, there are to the best of
our knowledge not twelve men exclusively devoted to the religious instruction
of the negroes. In the present state of feeling in the south, a
ministry of their own color could neither be obtained nor tolerated.

” But do not the negroes have access to the gospel through the stated
ministry of the whites ? We answer no ; the negroes have no regular
and efficient ministry; as a matter of course no churches; neither is
there sufficient room in white churches for their accommodation. We
know of butJive churches in the slaveholding states built expressly for
their use ; these are all in the state of Georgia. We may now inquire
if they enjoy the privileges of the gospel in their own houses, and on our
plantations ? Again we return a negative answer. They have no bibles
to read by their own firesides—they have no family altars ; and
when in affliction, sickness, or death, they have no minister to address
to them the consolations of the gospel, nor to bury them with solemn
and appropriate services.

” In a late number of the Charleston (S. C.) Observer, a correspondent
remarked : ‘ Let us* establish missionaries among our own negroes,
who, in view of religious knowledge, are as debasingly ignorant as any
one on the coast of Africa ; for I hazard the assertion, that throughout
the bounds of our synod, there are at least one hundred thousand slaves,
speaking the same language as ourselves, who never heard of the plan of
salvation by a Redeemer.

” The editor, instead of contradicting this broad assertion, adds : ‘We
fully concur with what our correspondent has said respecting the benighted
heathen among ourselves.”
“A writer in the Lexington, (Ky.) Western Luminary, remarks—

” ‘ I proclaim it abroad to the Christian world, that heathenism is as
real in the slave states as it is in the South Sea Islands, and that our
negroes are as justly objects of attention to the American and other Boards
of foreign missions, as the Indians of the western wilds. What is it that
constitutes heathenism ? Is it to be destitute of a knowledge of God—
of his holy word—never to have heard hardly a sentence of it read
through life—to know little or nothing of the history, character, instruction,
and mission of Jesus Christ—to be almost totally devoid of moral
knowledge and feeling—of sentiments and probity—truth—and ofchastity?
If this constitute heathenism, then there are thousands—millions of heathen
in our own beloved land.

“’ Gracious God ! merciful Redeemer ! shall thy word and thy” gospel
be proclaimed in simplicity and truth to one portion of our population,
and shall another be born, and live, and die, where the sun of righteousness
shines freely and fully, and never receive more than a dim and
wandering ray of his light and glory ?’”

This testimony, it will be borne in mind, is from the heart of
Kentucky, a state which has the reputation of granting greater
religious privileges to its slaves than any other in the Union. In this connexion we will give the sentiments of’ the Presbyterian
Synod of that state, contained in their address, from which
extracts have been already made.

“It deprives its subjects, in a great measure, of the privileges of the gospel.
You may be startled at this statement, and feel disposed to exclaim,
c our slaves are always permitted and even encouraged to attend upon
the ordinances of worship.’ But a candid and close examination will
show the correctness of our charge. The privileges of the gospel, as
enjoyed by the white population in this land, consist in free access to
the scriptures, a regular gospel ministry, and domestic means of grace.
Neither of these is, to any extent worth naming, enjoyed by slaves, as a
moment’s consideration will satisfactorily show. The law, as it is here,
does not prevent free access to the scriptures—but ignorance, the natural
result of their condition, does. The bible is before them, but it is to
them a sealed book. ‘ The light shineth in the darkness, but the darkness
comprehendeth it not.’ Like the paralytic, who lay for years by the
pool of Bethesda, the waters of healing are near them, but no kind hand
enables them to try their efficacy. Yery few enjoy the advantages of a
regular gospel ministry. They are, it is true, permitted generally, and
often encouraged, to attend upon the ministrations specially designed for
their masters. But the instructions communicated on such occasions are
above the level of their capacities. They listen as to prophesyings in an
unknown tongue.

” The galleries of our own churches, which are set apart to their use,
would not hold the tenth part of their numbers—and even these few
seats are, in general, thinly occupied. So that, as. a body, it is evident
that our slaves do not enjoy the public ordinances of religion. Domestic
means of grace are still more rare among them.

” We do not wish to exaggerate the description of this deplorable religious
condition of our colored population. We know that instances of
true piety are frequently found among them ; but these instances we
all know to be awfully disproportionate to their numbers, and to the
extent of those means of grace which exist around them. When the
missionaries of the cross enter a heathen land, their hope of fully christianizing
it rests upon the fact that they can array and bring to bear
upon the minds of these children of ignorance and sin, all those varied
means which God has appointed for the reformation of man. But while
the system of slavery continues among us, these means can never be
efficiently and fully employed for the conversion of the degraded sons of
Africa. Yet ‘ God hath made them of one blood’ with ourselves ; hath
provided for them the same redemption ; hath in his providence cast
souls upon our care ; and hath clearly intimated to us the doom of him
who ‘seeth his brother hath need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion
from him.’ If by our example, our silence, or our sloth, we perpetuate
a system which paralyzes our hands when we attempt to convey
to them the bread of life, and which inevitably consigns the great mass
of them to unending perdition, can we be guiltless in the sight of him
who hath made us stewards of his grace.

The following testimony is taken from a tract on the moral
condition of slaves, published by the American Anti-slavery
Society, and ” compiled chiefly from recent publications.”

” Not many years ago a protracted meeting was held at Petersburg^
Virginia. During the first two days, the attendance was very great.
The ministers were much encouraged. The prospect was that many
souls would be converted. It was suggested that the third day had best
be devoted entirely to the religious instruction of the coloured part of the
population. The ministers acceded to the request; notice was given
accordingly, in the church, and throughout the place, and masters were
requested to give their slaves liberty to attend the whole day, so that
the church might be filled. Great excitement prevailed. A meeting of
slaveholders was held. A threatening message was sent to the ministers.
The consequence was that the protracted meeting was broken up, there
being no meeting after the second day. In whose skirts will be found
the blood of those souls that may perish in consequence of the breaking
up of that protracted meeting ?

” A correspondent of the Church Advocate, published in Kentucky,
uses the following language, in relation to the blacks of that state :
” ‘ The poor negroes are left in the ways of spiritual darkness, no efforts
are being made for their enlightenment, no seed is being sown in this
portion of our Lord’s vineyard : here nothing but a moral wilderness is
seen, over which the soul sickens—the heart of Christian sympathy
bleeds. Here nothing is presented but a moral waste, as extensive as
our influence, as appalling as the valley of death to the repenting.,
conscience-stricken sinner.’

” The following extracts are from a letter of Bishop Andrew, of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, directed to Messrs. Garrit and Maffit.

Augusta, Jan. 29, 1835.

” ‘ The Christians of the south owe a heavy debt to slaves on their
plantations, and the ministers of Christ especially are debtors to the
whole slave population. I fear a cry goes up to heaven on this subject
against us ; and how, I ask, shall the scores who have left the ministry of the Word, that they may make corn and cotton, and buy and sell, and
get gain, meet this cry at the bar of God ? and what shall the hundreds
of money-making and money-loving masters, who have grown rich by
the toil and sweat of their slaves, and’left their souls to perish, say when
they go with them to the judgment of the great day ?’

The following testimony with regard to the slaves in Alabama
is from a letter published ill the Southern Religious Telegraph
and is dated June 20, 1836:

“‘ Yesterday afternoon, I attended divine service in this place. The
afternoon sermon is always intended especially for the blacks. The
number present yesterday was probably over 400. Rev. Mr. Houp informed
me that preaching was not kept up regularly in any other Methodist
church in Middle Alabama, except Montgomery. I have myself
visited all the Presbyterian churches belonging to Tuscaloosa and South
Alabama Presbyteries, except Mobile and three others, and have found
the blacks almost entirely neglected in all but two!

“The Rev. Mr. Converse, who was at one period an agent of the
Colonization Society, and resided for some time in Virginia, states in a
discourse before the Vermont Colonization Society, that ‘ almost nothing
is done to instruct the slaves in the principles and duties of the Christian
religion. The laws of the south strictly forbid their being taught to
read ; and they make no provision for their being orally instructed.
Ministers sometimes preach to them under peculiar and severe restrictions
of the law. But with all that has yet been done, the majority are
emphatically heathens, and what is very strange, heathens in the midst
of a land of sabbaths and of churches, of bibles and of Christians. . . .
Pious masters (with honorable exceptions) are criminally negligent of
giving religious instruction to their slaves. . . . They can and do instruct
their own children, and perhaps their house servants ; while those called
i field hands’ live, and labor, and die, without being told by their pious
masters (?) that Jesus Christ died to save sinners.”

The following is the testimony of Dr. Nelson, late President
of Marion College, Missouri, a Presbyterian Clergyman of high
respectability, who was born and educated in Tennessee, and till
forty years old, a slaveholder.

‘ I have been asked concerning the religious instruction of slaves ;
and I feel safe in answering, that in general it amounts to little or nothing.

Hundreds and thousands never heard of a Saviour ; and of those
who are familiar with his name, few have any comprehension of its
I remember one grey headed negro, with whom I tried to
talk concerning liis immortal soul. I pointed to the hills and told him
God made them. He said he did not believe any body made the hiHs.
I asked another slave about Jesus Christ. I found he had heard his
name, but thought he was the son of the Governor of Kentucky.'”

To show how masters, even professedly religious ones, often
discourage attention to the subject of religion among their slaves,
we give the following extract from the ” Report on the Condition
of the People of Colour in the State of Ohio.”

” Said a coloured woman to us the other day, ‘ When I was little I used
to long to read. After prayers, master would often leave the bible and
hymn book on the stand, and I would sometimes open them to see if the
letters would not tell me something. When he came and catched me
looking in them, he would always strike me and sometimes knock me
down. ”


Twenty-ninth Question. What number of slaves are members of Christian churches ?

The number of nominal professors among the slaves is not far from 200,000. Of these many are habitually and openly living in adultery, polygamy, drunkenness, lying, theft, and profaneness; although they rarely incur thereby church censure. The great mass of these being entirely ignorant of letters, and receiving their instruction chiefly from ministers whose style of preaching is above their capacity, must be without the knowledge of that truth which maketh wise unto salvation. The religion of slaves must, therefore, for the most part, be merely nominal. The testimony of Dr. Nelson, from whom we have already quoted, is melancholy enough on this point. He says,

” I have heard hundreds make such professions of love to God and trust in a Saviour, that the church did not feel at liberty to refuse them membership. I have reason to believe they were poor deluded mistaken creatures. The concentrated recollection of thirty years furnishes me with three instances only where I could say I had reason, from the known walk of that slave, to believe him or her to be a sincere Christian,”


Thirtieth Question. Do the inhabitants of the free state hold, by deed, bond, or mortgage, property in slaves—if so, to what extent?

We have satisfactory evidence that the inhabitants of the free states are very extensively owners of slaves. There is hardly a city or large town in the free states in which there are not living the holders of slave property in the south. In the year 1837, merchants and others in the single city of New York, held by bond and mortgage, not less than ten millions of property in southern estates and slaves together, and it is probable that that city is at the present time equally implicated.

We would state that the Executive Committee of the American Anti-slavery Society are now gathering a mass of authentic materials, to be embodied in a work exhibiting the pro-slavery of the free states, and containing a variety of details upon the subject of this query.


Thirty-first Question. Is the District of Columbia the property of the United States, and under the Government of Congress ?

The land in the district of Columbia is not national property, but, like that of the different states, is owned by individuals, but the exclusive government of the district is vested in the Congress of the United States. Nothing can be more explicit than the article in the constitution which relates to this point. It is in the following language ; ” The Congress shall have power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district.”

This provision, one might suppose, could not be mistaken. Since, however, the power of Congress over the district “of Columbia has been made of late a disputed question, even in Congress itself, we beg leave to refer you to an argument in the Anti-Slavery Examiner, No. 5, entitled ” The Power of Congress over the District of Columbia y also to the late speech of Hon. Mr. Slade of Vermont, in the House of Representatives of the United States, both of which may be found in the parcel forwarded with this.


Thirty-second Question. Does slavery actually exist in the district of Columbia ; if so, what is its character, and what is the number of slaves in it?

Slavery exists in the district of Columbia. Its character is substantially the same with that of slavery in the breeding states, already described. The number of slaves in the district is about 6000.


Thirty-third Question. Is this district a slave mart, if so
to what extent, and what is the nature of the traffic ?

The district of Columbia is not only a slave mart, but the
principal slave mart in the United States. We at once refer
you to the observations and statements of Judge Jay in his
” View,” pp. 92—98,—

” Let us now visit the c Metropolis of the Nation,’ the very heart of
this mighty commerce in the bodies and souls of men. The district of
Columbia, from its relative situation to the breeding states, forms a convenient
depot for the negroes, previous to their exportation ; and the
non-interference of Congress, gives the traders ‘ under the exclusive jurisdiction’
of the Federal Government, as unlimited power over the treatment
and stowage of their human cargoes, as their brethren enjoy on
the coast of Guinea.

” Hence large establishments have grown up upon the national domain,
provided with prisons for the safe-keeping of the negroes till a
full cargo is procured ; and should at any time the factory prisons be insufficient,
the public ones, erected by Congress, are at the service of the
dealers, and the United States marshal becomes the agent of the slave

” It must be admitted, that the following pictures of the scenes witnessed
in the district of Columbia, are drawn by impartial hands So
long ago as 1 802, the grand jury of Alexandria, complaining of the
trade, remarked :

“ These dealers in the persons of our fellow-men collect
within this district, from various parts, numbers of these victims of
slavery, and lodge them in some place of confinement until they have
completed their numbers. They are then turned out into our streets,
and exposed to view loaded with chains, as though they had committed
some heinous offence against our laws. We consider it as a grievance
that citizens from a distant part of the United States should be permitted
to come within the district, and pursue a traffic fraught with so
much misery to a class of beings entitled to our protection, by the laws
of justice and humanity ; and that the interposition of civil authority
cannot be had to prevent parents being wrested from their offspring, and
children from their parents, without respect to the ties of nature. We
consider these grievances demanding legislative redress’—that is, redress
by congress.
” In 1816, Judge Morell of the Circuit Court of the United States,
in his charge to the Grand Jury of Washington, observed, speaking of
the slave trade, ‘ The frequency with which the streets of the city had
been crowded with manacled captives, sometimes on the sabbath, could
not fail to shock the feelings of all humane persons.’

” The same year, John Randolph moved in the House of Representatives
for a committee ‘ to inquire into the existence of an inhuman
and illegal traffic of slaves carried on, in and through the district of
Columbia, and report whether any or what measures are necessary for
putting a stop to the same.’ The motion was adopted ; had it been made
twenty years later, it would, under the rules of the House, have been
laid on the table, ‘ and no further action had thereon.’

“The Alexandria Gazette of June 22nd, 1827, thus describes the
scenes sanctioned by our professedly republican and Christian legislature :
‘ Scarcely a week passes without some of these wretched creatures being
driven through our streets. After having been confined, and sometimes
manacled in a loathsome prison, they are turned out in public view to
take their departure for the south. The children and some of the women
are generally crowded into a cart or waggon, while others follow on
foot, not unfrequently handcuffed and chained together. Here you may behold
fathers and brothers leaving behind them the dearest objects of affection,
and moving slowly along in the mute agony of despair—there
the young mother sobbing over the infant whose innocent smiles seem
but to increase her misery. From some you will hear the burst of bitter
lamentation, while from others, the loud hysteric laugh breaks forth,
denoting still deeper agony.'”

” In 1828, a petition for the suppression of this trade was presented
to Congress signed by more than one thousand inhabitants of this district.
” In 1829, the Grand Jury of Washington made a communication to
Congress, in which they say, Provision ought to be made to prevent
purchasers, for the purpose of removal and transportation, from making
the cities of the district depots for the imprisonment of the slaves they
collect. The manner in which they are brought and confined in these
places, and carried through our streets, is necessarily such as to excite
the most painful feelings. It is believed that the whole community
would be gratified by the interference of Congress, for the suppression of
these receptacles, and the exclusion of this disgusting traffic from the

” In 1830, the i Washington Spectator’ thus gave vent to its indignation.
” ‘ The slave trade in the Capital.—Let it be known to the citizens of
America, that at the very time when the procession which contained the
President of the United States and his cabinet was marching in triumph
to the Capitol, another kind of procession was marching another way;
and that consisted of coloured human beings, handcuffed in pairs, and
driven along by what had the appearance of a man on horseback ! A
similar scene was repeated on Saturday last ; a drove, consisting of males
and females, chained in couples, starting from Roly’s tavern on foot for
Alexandria, where with others they are to embark on board a slave ship
in waiting to convey them to the south. Where is the O’Connell in this
republic that will plead for the emancipation of the district^ of Columbia?’
” The advertisements of the dealers indicate the extent of the traffic.
The National Intelligencer of the 28th March, 1836, printed at Washington,
contained the following advestisements.

“’ Cash for Jive hundred Negroes, including both sexes, from ten to
twenty-five years of age. Persons having likely servants to dispose of,
will find it their interest to give us a call, as we will give higher prices
in cash than any other purchaser who is now or may hereafter come into

4 Franklin & Amfield, Alexandria.’

“ ‘ Cash for three hundred Negroes.—The highest cash price will be
given by the subscriber, for negroes of both sexes, from the ages of twelve
to twenty- eight.

William H. Williams, Washington.’

“ Cash for four hundred Negroes, including both sexes, from twelve
to twenty-five years of age.

‘ James H. Birch, Washington City.’

” ‘ Cash for Negroes.—We will at all times give the highest prices in
cash for likely young negroes of both sexes, from ten to thirty years of age.

‘ J. W. Neal & Co., Washington.’

” Here we find three traders in the district, advertising in one clay
for twelve hundred negroes, and a fourth offering to buy an indefinite

” In a later number of the Intelligencer, we find the following.

” ‘ Cash for Negroes,—I will give the highest price for likely negroes
from ten to twenty-five years of age.

‘ George Kepiiart.’

“‘ Cashfor Negroes.—I will give cash and liberal prices for any number
of young and likely negroes, from eight to forty years of age. Per sons having negroes to dispose of will find it to their advantage to give
me a call at my residence on the corner of Seventh-street and Maryland
Avenue, and opposite Mr. “William’s privatejail.

‘ William H. Richards’

” ‘ Cashfor Negroes.—The subscriber wishes to purchase a number of
negroes for the Louisiana and Mississippi market. Himself or an agent
at all times can be found at his jail on Seventh-street.

; Wm. H. Williams’

” The unhappy beings purchased by these traders in human flesh, men
and women, and children of eight years old, are sent to the south, either
over land in comes, or by sea, in crowded slavers. Fostered by congress,
these traders lose all sense of shame ; and we have in the National Intelligencer
the following announcement of the regular departure of three
slavers, belonging to a single factory.

” ‘ Alexandria and New Orleans Packets.—Brig Tribune, Samuel 0.
Bush, master, will sail as above on the 1st January—Brig Isaac Franklin,
Wm. Smith, master, on the 15th January—Brig Uncas, Nath.
Boush, master, on the 1st February. They will continue to leave this
port on the 1st and 15th of each month, throughout the shipping season.
Servants that are intended to be shipped, will at any time be received for
safe-keeping at twenty-Jive cents a day.

‘John Amfield, Alexandria’

” This infamous advertisement of the regular sailing of three slavers,
and the offer of the use of the factory prison, appears in one of the principal
journals of the United States. Its proprietor has several times been
chosen printer to congress, and there is no reason for believing that he
has ever lost the vote of a northern member for this prostitution of his columns.

” But the climax of infamy is still untold. This trade in blood ; this
buying, imprisoning, and exporting of boys and girls eight years old ;
this tearing asunder of husbands and wives, parents and children, is all
legalized in virtue of authority delegated by congress ! ! The 249th page
of the laws of the city of Washington, is polluted by the following enactment,
bearing date 28th July, 1838.

” ‘ For a license to trade or traffic in slaves for profit, four hundred

“The following is from the “Anti-Slavery Manual/’ p. 114 :

” One of the private prisons in Washington used for keeping slaves, is
owned by W. Robey, who is also engaged in the trade. In May, 1834,
a gentleman visited it, and fell into conversation with the overseer of the
pen. He heard the clanking of chains within the pen. ‘ 0,’ said the
overseer—himself a slave, * I have seen fifty or seventy slaves taken
out of the pen, and the males chained together in pairs, and drove off
to the south—and how they would cry, and groan, and take on, and
wring their hands, hut the driver would put on the whip, and tell them,
to shut up—so that they would go off, and bear it as well as they could/
“‘Franklin and Armneld alone shipped to New Orleans duringthe year
1835, according to their own statement, not less than 1000 slaves. They
own brigs of about 160 to 200 tons burthen, running regularly every
thirty days, during the trading season, to New Orleans, and carrying about
one slave to the ton’

“The subjoined testimony is extracted from Jay’s Inquiry, pp.
158, 159.

“” From a letter of the 23d of January, 1834, by the Rev. Mr. Leavitt,
and published in New York, it appears, that he visited the slave factory
of Franklin and Armneld at Alexandria, and ‘ was informed by one
of the principals, that the number of slaves carried from the district,
last year, was about one thousand, but it would be much greater this
year. He expected their house alone would ship at least eleven or twelve
hundred. They have two vessels of their own, constantly employed in
carrying slaves to New-Orleans.’ One of the vessels being in port, Mr.
Leavitt went on board of her. ‘ Her name is the Tribune. The captain
very obligingly took us to all parts of the vessel. The hold is appropriated
to the slaves, and is divided into two apartments. The after
hold will carry about eighty women, and the other about one hundred
men. On either side were two platforms running the whole length ; one
raised a few inches, and the other half way up to the deck. They were
about five or six feet deep. On these the slaves lie, as close as they can
stow away/”

From the pamphlet entitled ” Why work for the Slave V we
extract the following, p. 3,—

” The case of Burditt Washington is another among the many proofs
that all protection is withheld from our coloured brothers and sisters,
within sight of our national Capitol, while congress shout to the slavetrader,
‘ Here’s free plunder !’

” One of the nine children sold away from him, was a daughter about
eighteen. A slave-trader came to the house,—seized and carried her
aboard the steamboat. The aged father followed, ‘ I then went into the hold,’ said he, * and found my child among the other slaves. She
threw her arms ahout my neck and said, ‘ Father, I’m gone, can t you do
something for me V I could’nt stay there any longer. I broke away
from her/ Here the old man’s tears stopped his voice. After some time,
he said :

‘ I have not seen or heard of her since. Oh, it hurts me every
time I think of it.

” I had this from his own lips. He was a member of a Baptist church
in Alexandria. Rev. Spencer H. Cone, and Rev. Samuel Cornelius, his
pastor, testified to the excellence of his character.”

For further exposures of these abominations in the District of
Columbia we refer you to Jay’s View, commencing on page 50.


Thirty-fourth Question. Has congress, by any direct action
or vote, expressed its disapprobation of the sale of slaves in the
district of Columbia ?

Congress, although repeatedly petitioned and memorialized on
this subject, has never once expressed its disapprobation of the
sale of slaves in the district. It has either maintained entire
silence, or attempted to justify the traffic.

The following declarations were made on the floor of congress
by the Hon. Mr. Slade, December 20, 1837,™

” While, however, I thus speak, it is, I confess, enough to destroy all
courage in attempting anything for the suppression of this abominable
and disgraceful traffic, to recollect how abortive have proved all efforts
hitherto, to effect that object. I open the journals of this house, and
find that, in 1816, Mr. Randolph, of Virginia, moved a resolution pro~
viding for the appointment of a special committee i to inquire into the
existence of an inhuman and illegal traffic in slaves, carried on in, and
through, the district of Columbia, and to report whether any, and what,
measures are necessary for putting a stop to the same/

” On the occasion of offering this resolution, it is said in the journal
of the debates of that period, that—

” ‘ Mr Randolph moved the [foregoing] resolution, the necessity of
which, and of providing a remedy for a practice so heinous and abominable
(making this district a depot for the slave trade of the neighbouring
states, and a medium for evading the laws in force by collusive sales),
he impressed by a variety of remarks, and concluded by declaring that,
if the business was declined by the house, he would undertake it him211
self, and ferret out of their holes and corners the villains who carried
it on.’

” This was on the 1st of March. On the 30th of April, Mr. Randolph,
it appears, reported sundry depositions on the subject, taken by
the committee ; which were ordered to lie on the table—
and there, Mr. Speaker, they lie to this day I Not another step that I can find, was
taken under the resolution. Neither congress nor the mover of the resolution
appear to have done anything further to 4 ferret out of the holes
and corners, the villains who earned on the ‘ heinous and abominable’

” Another movement was made in 1829, by an able and estimable son
of Pennsjdvania (Mr. Charles Miner), looking to a remedy for this
evil, in regard to which he made some most astounding disclosures, and
supported a proposition for the gradual abolition of slavery, and the immediate
prohibition of the slave trade in this district, in an able and eloquent
speech. If fact, and argument, and eloquence, could have effected
anything, surely it would have been effected by this effort. But it
availed nothing. The proposition went to a committee, and slept the
sleep of death 1 Enormities startling enough to wake the dead, were like
galvanism upon a lifeless carcass. There was a slight convulsion, and
all was over !”*

We find the following statement in Jay’s View, p. 54,—

” On the 29th January, 1829, the committee on the district of Columbia
made a report in obedience to the instructions of the House of
Representatives, ‘ to inquire into the slave trade as it exists in and is
carried on through the district.’ The report proposes no interference on
the part of congress, but is virtually an apology for this vile traffic, as
is apparent from the following heartless sentiments and false assertions.

” ‘ The trade alluded to, is presumed to refer more particularly to that
which is carried on with the view of transporting slaves to the south,
which is one way of gradually diminishing the evil complained of here;
while the situation of these persons is considerably mitigated by being
transplanted to a more genial and bountiful clime. Although violence may sometimes be done to their feelings in the separation of families, it
is by the laws of society which operate upon them as property, and cannot
be avoided as long as they exist ; yet it should be some consolation
to those whose feelings are interested in their behalf, to know that their
condition is more frequently bettered, and their minds happier by the

Having now replied to the queries, we proceed in accordance
with your ” suggestions,” to notice some other points connected
with the general subjects of slavery and abolition.

And first we call your attention to the political power of the
slaveholding states in the Federal Government. The subjoined
developments are taken from Jay’s View—pp. 23—26.

“The federal ratio of representation.

“The constitution provides that the members of the Lower House of
congress shall be proportioned to the free inhabitants of the states they
represent, except that in each state three-fifths of the slave population
shall be for this purpose considered as free inhabitants. In other words,
every five slaves are to be counted as three white persons. For example,
if by law every 60,000 free inhabitants may elect a representative, a
district containing 45,000 whites and 25,000 slaves, becomes by the federal
ratio entitled to a member. This stipulation in the constitution
has from the beginning given the slaveholders an undue weight in the
national councils. A few instances will illustrate its practical effect.
The whole number of the House of Representatives is at present 242—
sent from 26 states. Of these the following are slave states, viz. :
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,
Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, and
Arkansas. These states, with a free population of 3,823,389, have .100
members ; while the free states, with a free population nearly double,
viz. 7>003,451, have only 142 members. One representative is at present
allowed to 47,700 inhabitants. Now, were the slaves omitted in the
enumeration, the slave states would have only 75 members. Hence it
follows, that at the present moment, the slaveholding interest has a representation
of twenty-five members in addition to the fair and
equal representation of the free inhabitants. There is certainly no good
reason why the owners of human chattels should, by the fundamental
laws of a republic, have greater privileges awarded to them than to the
^holders of any other kind of property whatever. But such is the compact ; we seek not to change or violate it, but only to explain its operation.

” Each state has as many votes for President as it has members of
congress. The rule of representation in the Lower House has already
been explained ; in the senate it is different : and each state, whatever
be its population, has two senators, and no more. The free population
of the slave states, as already stated, is half that of the others ; but
their number being equal, their representation in the senate is also

” If free population were the principle of representation in the Federal
Government, as it is with scarcely an exception in all the states, the
slave states would have

” Here we find the secret of the power of the south, and of the obsequiousness
of the north. Ohio, with a population of 947,000 has 19
members ; while Virginia, with a free population of 200,000 less, has
two members more. Take another example. Pennsylvania has 30 electoral
votes ; the states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi,
Louisiana, and Kentucky, with an aggregate free population of 189,791
less than Pennsylvania, have 53 electoral votes!

” It cannot be supposed that this vast and most unequal representation
and consequent political poAver, will be unemployed by its possessors.
On the contrary, the slaveholders in congress have uniformly succeeded
in effecting their objects, when united among themselves. In 1836,
this slave power in congress was adroitly turned to pecuniary profit.
The surplus revenue remaining in the treasury on the 1st of January,
1837, was to be distributed, and the rule of distribution became a question.
The income, it is true, had been derived chiefly from the industry
and enterprise of the north ; but the south insisted, and with her usual
success, that instead of dividing the money according to the population,
it should be apportioned among the states according to their electoral
votes. By this rule, the slave states, notwithstanding their inferiority in
population, would share alike with the free, so far as regarded the number
of their senators ; and with regard to their representatives, they
would secure an apportionment of money on account of three -fifths of their
two millions of slaves.

” The sum allotted by this gross and monstrous rule to the states of
South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Kentucky,
was 6,754,588 dollars; while Pennsylvania, with a free population
larger than that of all these six states together, was to receive only
3,823,353 dollars ; so that, in fact, the slaveholders of these states received,
man for man, just about twice as many dollars from the national
treasury as the hard-working citizens of Pennsylvania !

“Notwithstanding this slave representation, the free states have a
majority of members ; and hence it becomes important to investigate.”

The influence of the slaveholding states in securing the appointment
of their citizens to high offices in the Federal Government
is exhibited in the following extracts from Jay’s View—pp. 36—39.

“Appointments to Office.

” As the citizens of the free states are nearly double in number to
those of the slave states, it might naturally be supposed that the former
would furnish the larger share of the great officers of the Union. To
such as have indulged this supposition, the following extract of a speech
lately delivered in the Senate of the United States, by Mr. Davis of
Massachusetts, will no doubt aiford very startling information. ‘ This
interest (slavery) has ruled the destinies of the republic. For forty
out of forty-eight years, it has given us a president from its own territory
and of its own selection. During all this time, it has not only had
a President, sustaining its own peculiar views of public policy, but
through him, has held and used in its own way, the whole organization
of all the departments, and all the vast and controlling patronage incident
to that office, to aid it in carrying on its views and policy, as well
as to protect and secure to it every advantage.

” ‘ Let us explore a little further and see how the houses of congress
have been organized. For thirty years out of thirty-six, that interest
has placed its own speaker in the chair of the other House, thus
securing the organization of committees, and the great influence of that
station. And, sir, while all other interests have, during part of the time,
had the chair (vice-presidency) in which you preside assigned to them
as an equivalent for these great concessions, yet in each year, when a
President pro tern, is elected, who, upon the contingencies mentioned in
the constitution will be the President of the United States, that interest
has invariably given us that office. Look, I beseech you, through
all the places of honor, of profit, and privilege ; and there you will find
the representatives of this interest in numbers that indicate its influence.
Does not, then, this interest rule, guide, and adapt public policy to its
own views, and fit it to suit the action and products of its own labor !’

” Let us see how far the present amount of slave interest in the Federal
Government justifies the general statement made by Mr. Davis. The
presidential chair, it is true, is filled by a northern man ! but he is one
who pledged himself to this interest before he was elected ; who had
manifested his devotion to this interest, by giving his vote for a censorship
of the press, for the avowed purpose of restraining the circulation
of anti-slavery papers ; and who was elected to his present station by
southern votes ! Be it recollected, moreover, that the southern journals
have insisted that a northern man with southern principles, could more
effectually subserve this interest as President, than a slaveholder.

” In the office of Vice-President, we have a slaveholder from Kentucky,
presiding over the deliberations of the Senate.

” A slaveholder is seated in the chair of the House of Representatives,
appointing committees on the district of Columbia, enforcing gag resolutions
against such as would repeal or modify the laws of congress violating
the rights of man, and deciding all questions of order in discussions
bearing upon the great interest.

” A desire is now manifested by the south to bring into the Supreme
Court of the United States certain questions touching the rights and
duties of the free states, relative to slaves who may come or be brought
within their limits. Since the year 1830 there have been five appointments
to the bench of this court, and all from slave states. The majority
of the court, including the chief justice, are citizens of those states.
But when these questions come before the court, it may be highly important
for the slaveholders to have an Attorney General to argue
them, in whom they can confide. Accordingly the office is filled by-
Mr. Grundy, who lately evinced his qualifications for the station, by
expressing, in his place as senator from Tennessee, his approbation of
lynch law, as applied to abolitionists. At the head of the department
of State, whence issue instructions for conventions and treaties, protecting
the African slave trade from British cruisers, and the American slave
trade from the interference of British colonial authorities ; and also for
conventions for the return of fugitive slaves, is placed a gentleman from

” At the court of Great Britain we are represented by a slaveholder
from Virginia, who, under the direction of the gentleman from Georgia,
is bargaining about the value of shipwrecked negroes, and threatening
the British government with the vengeance of the republic, if it shall
hereafter dare to liberate slaves who may be forced into its colonies.

“At the head of the Navy Department we behold a citizen of the
north, enjoying the reward of his labor, in concocting one of the most
virulent volumes in vindication of slavery, and vituperation of its opponents,
that has ever issued from the press.
” A slaveholder from South Carolina, distinguished for his negotiation
in Mexico for the surrender of fugitive slaves, presides over the
“War Department.

” Kentucky furnishes a Post Master General whose devotion to
the “interest” has led him to authorize every post master to act as
censor of the press, and to take from the mails every paper adverse to
slavery. Thus have the slaveholders seized upon the Federal Government,
and converted, as we shall presently see, what was intended as the
palladium of liberty, into the shield of despotism.”

In Mrs. Child’s ” Appeal in favor of that class of Americans
called Africans” (page 118)? we find the following summary of
favourite measures gained by the south in consequence of her
predominant political power in the national government.

” What would the south have ? They took the management at the
very threshold of our government, and, excepting the rigidly just administration
of Washington, they have kept it ever since. They claimed
slave representation and obtained it. For their convenience the revenues
were raised by imposts instead of direct taxes, and thus they give little
or nothing in exchange for their excessive representation. They have
increased the slave states, till they have twenty-five votes in congress,

they have laid the embargo, and declared war,—they have controlled
the expenditures of the nation,—-they have acquired. Louisiana and Florida
for an eternal slave market, and perchance for the manufactory of
more slave states,—they have given five presidents out of seven to the
United States,—and in their attack upon manufactures, they have gained
Mr. Clay’s concession bill. ‘ But all this availeth not, so long as Mordecai
the Jew sitteth in the king’s gate.’ The free states must be kept
down. But change their policy as they will, free states cannot be kept

The manner in which the slaveholding states secure this great
political influence is thus described by Judge Jay in his ” View/’
—pp. 26—28.

” These may be regarded as threefold : first, their anxiety to protect
and perpetuate slavery, renders the southern members united in whatever
measures they consider important for this purpose, while the representatives
from the north, having no common bond of union, are divided
in opinion and effort. Secondly, a slave state having more votes to bestow
on a presidential candidate, and more members in congress to support
or oppose the administration than a free state of equal white population,
is of course of greater consequence in the estimation of politicians;
and hence arises an influence reaching to every measure, and
weighing upon every question. Thirdly, the peculiar temperament of
the southern gentlemen, together with their observation of the servilitv
of the northern politicians, have induced them to resort, and with great
success, to intimidation as a means of influence.

” The practice adopted by the slaveholders of threatening on all occasions
to dissolve the Union, unless they are permitted to govern it, lias
been too long and firmly established to need illustration. “We will at
present merely give a few recent instances of outrageous menaces ; and
to justify what we have said of the servility of northern politicians it is
sufficient to observe, that these menaces were unrebuked.”

” On the 18th of April, 1836, a petition against the continuance of
slavery in the district of Columbia, was presented to the House of Representatives,
when Mr. Speight, of North Carolina, declared in his
place, that 4 he had great respect for the chair as an officer of the House,
and a great respect for him personally : and nothing hut that respect prevented
him from rushing to the table and tearing that petition to pieces!
Of course it was to be understood, that the order of the house and the
rights of northern petitioners were respected, not from any constitutional
obligations, but solely because the speaker, himself a slaveholder
was acceptable to southern gentlemen.

” Mr. Hammond, of South Carolina, the same session, in a speech,
used the following language :

‘ I warn the abolitionists—ignorant, infatuated
barbarians as they are, that if chance shall throw any of them into
our hand’s^ he may expect a felons death.’

“Mr. Lumpkin remarked in the senate, (January 1838,) ‘If abolitionists
went to Georgia, they would be caught; ‘ and Mr. Preston declared
in the same debate—’ Let an abolitionist come within the borders
of South Carolina, if we can catch him, we will try him, and notwithstanding
all the interference of all the governments on* earth, including
the Federal Government, we will hang him.’

” It seems probable from these declarations that abolitionists in their
southern travels, will meet with ‘ barbarians ‘ quite as ‘ ignorant and infatuated’
as themselves ; and also that the gibbet is to be the fate of
any member of congress, who shall by his votes or speeches dare to identify
himself with the abolitionists, and afterwards enter the slave

Such are the sources of the slaveholding influence in congress.

The following pages will exhibit many of the results of this
influence :

First. By filling the Presidential chair with incumbents of
their own principles, and by procuring the appointment of
southern men, or ” northern men with southern principles ” to
the cabinet offices, the slave states manage to secure both the
aspect and spirit of a pro-slavery government at home.

By sending southern men as ambassadors to all the principal
foreign courts, they contrive to keep up pro-slavery appearances
abroad. And by effecting all their favorite measures in congress,
which they have rarely failed to do, they succeed in holding the
whole nation in a disgraceful subserviency to the slave power.
Gradually, but to a fearful extent, the anti-republican spirit of
the slaveholding states has infused itself into the entire government,
insomuch that the whole policy of the government is now
shaped in accordance with the slavery interest. So that while
slavery should be craving its last foot-hold, and obliged to surrender
even that, and slink away into a mere nominal and temporary
existence on its own domain, we are compelled to acknowledge
it the paramount interest of the nation. The fundamental
maxims of freedom have been sacrificed one by one, at
the shrine of this national idol. The most mournful and alarming
indication of the encroachments of the slave power is, the
immolation at its nod of the right of petition. This has been
done by congress—done deliberately, done with the warnings
and remonstrances of the faithful few sounding in their ears.
This sacrilege has been repeated at each successive session
since 1836, and with aggravated atrocity at each subsequent
period ; until during the present session congress has fully consummated
its own ignominy by embodying the shameless outrage
among the standing rules of the House. It is in the following

” ‘ Upon the presentation of any memorial or petition praying for the
abolition of slavery or the slave trade in any district, territory, or state
of the Union, and upon the presentation of any resolution or other paper
touching these subjects, the question of the reception of such memorial,
petition, resolution, or paper shall be considered as made, and the question
of its reception shall be laid upon the table without debate or further
action of the house.’”

Whether federal devotion to southern slavery will perpetrate
any grosser outrages we know not, but no violations of the
constitution, no indignities offered to inalienable rights can
hereafter surprise us.

The subject of prejudice against colour (so called) next demands

It is well known that there exists in the United States a
ferocious prejudice against the coloured population. This
feeling is, apparently, as virulent against those who have
but a slight intermixture of African blood, as against the jet
black negro ; and if possible, even more inveterate in the free,
than in the slave states. It is called by those who entertain it,
“prejudice against colour,” and not without^ a shrewd design.
They seek thus to justify a most unchristian scorn by representing
it as the spontaneous and irrepressible sentiment of the
mind, in view of contrariety of colour. Accordingly it has been
unblushingly upheld as a proper feeling, which it was duty to
foster, and to extinguish which, if it were practicable, would be
rebellion against the will of God, by whom it has been interposed
as a permanent barrier between the two races. On the
contrary, the friends of the negro contend that this is not a
prejudice against colour,—that it is not an involuntary instinct of
nature, whose existence is the voice of God bespeaking its propriety,
and demanding its perpetuity ; but that it is an incidental
feeling resulting from the enslavement of the negroes, an
aversion and disdain on account of their condition, which attach
to their colour, only because the latter is in the mind associated
with the former, and an index of it. They contend, moreover
that this prejudice is an outrageous insult toward a deeply
injured class, whom it reproaches and spurns for a degradation
which those who cherish the feeling, have caused ; and that
it is a heinous sin against that God, who alike ordained the
complexion of the black and the white man.

In the early days of the republic, when the national pulse
beat strongly for universal liberty, this feeling was comparatively
weak. Then slavery had but a feeble existence. Its presence
was regarded with jealousy, and tolerated only, in the hope and
expectation of its speedy extinction. The generous purpose that
our land should be an asylum for the oppressed of all other lands, did not at that time overlook the slave • he was prospectively,
at least, included within its ample embrace.

The following are a few of a multitude of illustrations, which
might be adduced, showing that “prejudice against colour” found
slight encouragement among the fathers of the republic. Washington
himself set an example of courteous respect for people of
colour, which reflects the deepest shame upon his degenerate
countrymen. The following letter, addressed to Phillis Wheatley,
a native African, and a slave, is found in his published correspondence.

“Cambridge, February 28, 1776.

“ Miss Phillis,—Your favor of the 26tli of October did not reach my
hands till the middle of December. Time enough, you will say, to have
given an answer ere this. Granted. But a variety of important occurrences,
continually interposing to distract the mind and withdraw the
attention, I hope will apologize for the delay, and plead my excuse for
the seeming, but not real neglect. I thank you most sincerely for your
polite notice of me, in the elegant lines you enclosed ; and however
undeserving I may be of such encomium and panegyric, the style and
manner exhibit a striking proof of your poetical talents ; in honor of
which, and as a tribute justly due to you, I would have published the
poem, had I not been apprehensive, that, while I only meant to give the
world this new instance of your genius, I might have incurred the imputation
of vanity. This, and nothing else, determined me not to give it
place in the public prints.

” If you should ever come to Cambridge, or near head-quarters, I shall
be happy to see a person so favored by the Muses, and to whom nature
has been so liberal and beneficent in her dispensations. I am, with great
respect, your obedient humble servant, George Washington.”

We have evidence of the weakness of this feeling, during the
early periods of our history, in the testimony of General Lafayette.
It is said of him,

” Lafayette, in his last visit to the United States, expressed his astonishment
at the increase of prejudice against colour. He remembered, he
said, how the black soldiers used to mess with the whites in the revolutionary
war. The leaders of that war are gone, where principles are all, where
prejudices are nothing. If their ghosts could arise in majestic array,
before the American nation on their great anniversary, and hold up be221
fore them the mirror of their constitution, in the light of its first principles,
where would the people hide themselves from the blasting radiance.”

The liberty feeling which carried forward the American revolution
to its issue, soon after began to wane, and the slavery
spirit to gather strength ; “prejudice,” as a consequence, increased,
insomuch that the ” nation’s guest,” on revisiting our shores,
remarked, with grief and surprise, its fearful prevalence. That
sagacious philanthropist saw in this a result of the rapidly
growing slavery spirit, which it is well known he noticed with
still greater grief and astonishment.

That prejudice should have constantly gained force in the
south, where slavery was strengthening its stakes, can excite no
surprise ; but that it should have increased in the north, where the
little slavery that remained was fast retreating, before the advance
of free principles would seem to be unaccountable. The same
cause, however, which promoted its increase in the south, viz.,
the progressive popularity of southern slavery, fostered its growth
in the free states. Contradictory as the statement may seem
it is, nevertheless, true that a pro-slavery spirit was fast growing
at the north, while slavery itself was dying away. The same
considerations which promoted the one, abolished the other.
Slavery was a burden upon the north—its removal was foreseen
to be a pecuniary benefit. On the other hand, slavery at the
south began to be regarded as a great source of wealth, in which
the north might share as well as the south ; therefore, while
abolishing their own slavery, the free states joined league with
the slaveholding in supporting theirs. The commerce, the
manufactures, and the numerous trades of the north, became more
or less dependent upon slavery; her literary, benevolent, and
religious institutions wooed its alliance ; her colleges looked to
the south for patronage and pupils, while her educated sons
flocked thither to conduct institutions of learning, fill professions,
edit newspapers, and marry fortunes. Her benevolent
societies turned to the south for money, and even her religion
clutched for its share in the emoluments of slavery, by annually
commissioning scores of her youthful ministers to officiate at its
blood stained altars.

In process of time the prejudice of which we speak, sunk so deeply into the national heart, that it became the basis of a great
national institution—the American Colonization Society; one
of whose cardinal maxims was the invincibility of negro prejudice.
This society contributed greatly to augment and embolden the
feeling in which it had its origin. By asserting its invincibility,
and defending it as growing out of an ” ordination of providence,”
and a “law of nature,” it imparted to it not only a
respectability, but a sort of sacredness which added greatly to
its sway. Under such fostering influences, negro prejudice rose
to an almost incredible pitch of audacity, impiety, and power;
and well it might. The rabble shouted its praises, ” men of
property and standing” endorsed it, and the learned vindicated
it by argument. Professing Christians were its votaries, ministers
its priests, and temples dedicated to God its sanctuaries and
shrines. It controlled both the pulpit and the press, presided
in the halls of justice, swayed the legislative assembly, gave law
to the jury-box, expurgated the school room, governed the festive
board, was omnipotent in the social circle, stereotyped regulations
for all public conveyances, stood door-keeper at all places
of amusement, partitioned off the house of God, and made the
communion cup a respecter of persons.

A few facts will illustrate the prevalence and inveteracy of
this feeling.

First, it excludes coloured persons of both sexes, whatever their
respectability or refinement, from the public vehicles of travel,
or thrusts them into parts of them designed expressly for the
degraded. On this point there are facts innumerable. We give
a few only.

In Mrs. Child’s ” Appeal,” wefind the following, pp. 203—205,—

” Men whose education leaves them less excuse for such illiberality,
are yet vulgar enough to join in this ridiculous prejudice. The coloured
woman, whose daughter has been mentioned as excluded from a private
school, was once smuggled into a stage, upon the supposition that she
was a white woman, with a sallow complexion. Her manners were
modest and prepossessing, and the gentlemen were very polite to her.
But when she stopped at her own door, and was handed out by her
curly-headed husband, they were at once surprised and angry to find
they had been riding with a mulatto—and had, in their ignorance, been
really civil to her !

” A worthy coloured woman, belonging to an adjoining town, wished
to come into Boston to attend upon a son, who was ill. She had a
trunk with her, and was too feeble to walk. She begged permission to
ride in the stage. But the passengers, with noble indignation, declared
they would get out, if she were allowed to get in. After much entreaty,
the driver suffered her to sit by him upon the box. When he entered the
city, his comrades began to point and sneer. Not having sufficient moral
courage to endure this, he left the poor woman, with her trunk, in the
middle of the street, far from the place of her destination ; telling her,
with an oath, that he would not carry her a step further.

” A friend of mine lately wished to have a coloured girl admitted into
the stage with her, to take care of her babe. The girl was very lightly
tinged with the sable hue, had handsome Indian features, and very
pleasing manners. It was, however, evident that she was not white;
and therefore the passengers objected to her company. This of course,
produced a good deal of inconvenience on one side, and mortification on
the other. My friend repeated the circumstance to a lady, who, as the
daughter and wife of a clergyman, might be supposed to have imbibed
some liberality. The lady seemed to think the experiment was very
preposterous ; but when my friend alluded to the mixed parentage of the
girl, she exclaimed, with generous enthusiasm, * Oh, that alters the case,.
Indians certainly have their rights.’

” Every year a coloured gentleman and scholar is becoming less and
less of a rarity—thanks to the existence of the Haytian republic, and
the increasing liberality of the world ! Yet if a person of refinement
from Hayti, Brazil, or other countries, which we deem less enlightened
than our own, should visit us, the very boys of this republic would dog
his footsteps with the vulgar outcry of ‘ Nigger ! Nigger !’ I have known
this to be done, from no other provocation than the sight of a coloured man
with the dress and deportment of a gentleman. Were it not that republicanism,
like Christianity, is often perverted from its true spirit by
the bad passions of mankind, such things as these would make every
honest mind disgusted with the very name of republics.

” I am acquainted with a gentleman from Brazil who is shrewd, enterprising,
and respectable in character and manners ; yet he has experienced
almost every species of indignity on account of his colour. Not long since,
it became necessary for him to visit the southern shores of Massachusetts,
to settle certain accounts connected with his business. His wife was in
a feeble state of health, and the physicians had recommended a voyage.
For this reason, he took passage for her with himself in the steam-boat;
and the captain, as it appears, made no objection to a coloured gentleman’s
money. After remaining on deck some time, Mrs. attempted to pass into the cabin ; but the captain prevented her ; saying, ‘ You
must go down forward.’ The Brazilian urged that he had paid the
customary price, and therefore his wife and infant had a right to a place
in the ladies’ cabin. The captain answered, 6 Your wife a’n’t a lady;
she is a nigger/ The forward cabin was occupied by sailors—was entirely
without accommodations for women, and admitted the sea-water, so that
a person could not sit in it comfortably without keeping the feet raised
in a chair. The husband stated that his wife’s health would not admit
of such exposure ; to which the captain still replied, i I don’t allow any
niggers in my cabin.’ With natural and honest indignation, the Brazilian
exclaimed, c You Americans talk about the Poles ! You are a great deal
more Russian than the Russians.’ The affair was concluded by placing
the coloured gentleman and his invalid wife on the shore, and leaving
them to provide for themselves as they could. Plad the cabin been full,
there would have been some excuse ; but it was occupied only by two
sailors’ wives. The same individual sent for a relative in a distant town
on account of illness in his family. After staying several weeks, it became
necessary for her to return ; and he procured a seat for her in the
stage. The same ridiculous scene occurred ; the passengers were afraid
of losing their dignity by riding with a neat respectable person, whose
face was darker than their own. No public vehicle could be obtained, by
which a coloured citizen could be conveyed to her home ; it therefore became
absolutely necessary for the gentleman to leave his business and
hire a chaise at great expense. Such proceedings are really inexcusable.
No authority can be found for them in religion, reason, or the laws.”

Second, It shuts against them all places of public exhibition
and amusement, which are at all respectable. It matters not, so
far as prejudice is concerned, whether the places of amusement
be in themselves innocent or otherwise.

The proprietors of the Zoological Institute in New York, have
the following standing advertisement.

” The proprietors wish it to be understood that people of colour are not
permitted to enter, except when in attendance upon children and

The manner in which this rule is carried out may be seen in
the following letter from a respectable citizen of New York,

” ‘ I was very desirous of taking my family to the Zoological Institute
in the Bowery, to see the specimens of wild animals. So I hired a car225
riage, took my family, and went up to the place. When we drove up
in front of the door, I got out and went to get a ticket. When I got to
the door a well dressed man gave me a very hard punch in the breast
with his cane, which knocked me very nearly flat upon the steps. Said
I, ‘ What did you do that for?

” ‘Clear the door,’ said he.
” *I want to go in, sir,’ said I.
” ‘You cannot go in/
” ‘I am ready to pay,’ said L
” ‘We don’t admit niggers.’

” ‘Why did you not tell me that coloured people were not admitted
before you punched me so V

” ‘If you don’t clear out, I will put you in the watch-house.’
” ‘Do you suppose, sir,’ said I, ‘ that I am to be treated in this manner,
and not be permitted to speak about it.

” ‘He then called for two officers to take me to the watch-house. I
replied, ‘ I think one will be enough, as I shall offer no resistance/ The
officers came—laid hold of me with great violence, and walked off with
me about a hundred yards ; leaving my wife and family in the carriage
in front of the door. The officers now said to me, ‘ If we will let you go
will you say no more about it V ‘ Gentlemen, do your duty, for I will
come to no such terms.

” ‘They then whispered to each other a moment, and let me go.
They returned to their employer, I suppose, I; got into my carriage
and came home, thankful for having escaped from the jaws of such
savage beasts.

” ‘Yours, in the bonds of the gospel,”
‘ Thomas Van Rennselaer/ ”

It is unnecessary to specify all the privileges from which
prejudice debars the colored man in the United States. Suffice
it to say, that there is not a single point within the entire circle
of personal, social, religious, and political privileges, where the
man of colour is allowed to occupy an equal footing with his
white brother.

We shall mention but one other instance—the existence of
caste, in the house of God.

Humbling as is the acknowledgment, truth impels us to declare
that this hideous development of prejudice is almost universal.
It is found in the city and in the country, and among all denominations.
A folio would not contain the disgraceful and monstrous facts in illustration of this point. Religion hangs her head, and goes heart-broken from her temples, as she sees
her sable children thrust into obscure corners, and separated from
the whites as strictly as though they were infected with the leprosy.

The following is stated by Mrs. Child, in her “Appeal” pp. 212, 213.

” A fierce excitement prevailed, not long since, because a coloured man
had bought a pew in one of our churches. I heard a very kind-hearted
and zealous democrat declare his opinion that ‘ the fellow ought to be
turned out by constables, if he dared to occupy the pew he had purchased/
Even at the communion-table, the mockery of human pride is
mingled with the worship of Jehovah. Again and again have I seen a
solitary negro come up to the altar meekly and timidly, after all the
white communicants had retired. One episcopal clergyman of this city,
forms an honorable exception to this remark. When there is room at
the altar, Mr. — often makes a signal to the colored members of
his church to kneel beside their white brethren ; and once, when two
white infants and one coloured one were to be baptized, and the parents
of the latter bashfully lingered far behind the others, he silently rebuked
the unchristian spirit of pride, by first administering the holy ordinance
to the little dark-skinned child of God.

” An instance of prejudice lately occurred, which I should find it hard
to believe, did I not positively know it to be a fact. A gallery pew was
purchased in one of our churches for two hundred dollars. A few sabbaths
after, an address was delivered at that church, in favour of the
Africans. Some coloured people, who very naturally wished to hear the
discourse, went into the gallery ; probably because they thought they
should be deemed less intrusive there than elsewhere. The man who
had recently bought the pew, found it occupied by coloured people, and indignantly
retired with his family. The next day, he purchased a pew
in another meeting-house, protesting that nothing would tempt him
again to make use of seats that had been occupied by negroes.

” A well known country representative, who makes a very loud noise
about his democracy, once attended the Catholic church. A pious negro
requested him to take off his hat, while he stood in the presence of the
Virgin Mary. The white man rudely shoved him aside, saying, ‘ You
son of an Ethiopian, do you dare to speak to me !’ I more than once
heard the hero repeat this story ; and he seemed to take peculiar satisfaction
in telling it. Had he been less ignorant, he would not have chosen
‘ son of an Ethiopian* as an ignoble epithet ; to have called the African
his own equal would have been abundantly more sarcastic. The same
republican dismissed a strong, industrious coloured man, who had been
employed on the farm during his absence. ‘ I am too great a democrat,’
quoth he, ‘ to have any body in my house, who don’t sit at my table ;
and I’ll be hanged, if I ever eat with the son of an Ethiopian.'”

In anotherwork by the same author—”The Oasis”—the following
fact is stated.

” The following account is a literal matter of fact. The names of
persons and places are concealed by the editor, because she wishes to
excite no angry feelings in attempting to show how many discouragements
are thrown in the way of coloured people who really desire to be
respectable. The letters are copied from the originals, with merely a
few alterations in the orthography of the last.

” Mr. James E was a respectable coloured man, residing in Massachusetts,
in a certain town not far from Boston. He had been early
impressed with the importance of religious subjects, and at twenty-six
years of age made a public profession of his faith. He had a large
family, and when they were all old enough to attend church, it was
found difficult to accommodate them on the seats their parents had
usually occupied. Mr. E was desirous of purchasing a pew which
stood as it were by itself, being surrounded by the aisle and the staircase.
Some difficulty occurred because a widow had a right to one
third ; but this was finally arranged to the satisfaction of all parties,
Mr. E.’s eldest son paid the purchase money, and received a deed of the
pew. As soon as this became known, a member of the church called
upon Mr. E., and exhorted him not to injure the sale of the pew by
occupying it. Mr E. answered, that it had been bought for the accommodation
of his family, and they had no wish to sell it. The church
brother answered, ‘ Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he

” Private meetings were immediately held, which resulted in summoning
Mr. E. to appear before the church, to give an account of his proceedings.
Here he was accused of a wilful and flagrant outrage upon
the church and upon the society. In reply he called their attention to
the covenant by which each church member was bound to share the
burdens of the church, and promised full enjoyment of all its privileges.
He thought this gave any member a right to own a pew, provided he
could honestly pay for one. As a citizen of a free country, he conceived
that he had a right to purchase a pew ; nor could he find anything in
the whole tenor of the bible opposed to it.

” When requested to declare the price his son had paid for the pew, he declined answering. A committee was appointed, -and the meeting

” This committee called on Mr. E. to ‘ labor with him,’ as they termed
it. The elder attempted to justify their proceedings by talking of a
gradation in creation, from the highest seraph to the meanest insect.
To support this doctrine, he quoted from the fifteenth chapter of the first
Epistle to the Corinthians :

‘ All flesh is not the same flesh ; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

” On the third Sunday, a cord was observed suspended from the gallery
; on examination, is was found that a jug of filthy water wTas tied
to it, and so arranged as to empty itself upon whoever touched the line
in entering the pew. The remainder of the seats and the wTalls were
soon after torn down, and thrown into an adjoining pasture. A temporary
seat answered the purposes of the family for a while ; but in a short
time this was demolished, and the platform itself torn up, leaving a hole
about two feet square.

“The son of Mr. E. related these facts to the editor, and added very dryly:

“ When the cold weather came on, this proved a serious inconvenience
to the whole congregation ; but they bore it for some time, with Christian
The subjoined fact is taken from the ” Cleveland (Ohio) Messenger.”

” A coloured man, in the state of Ohio, at a meeting not long since?
was the first, when awakened sinners wrere invited to come forward for
prayer and conversation, who took the anxious seat. A leader in the
meeting went up to him and said, you must not come forward here, for
you will keep away many that we want to see amongst the anxious.”
Rev. James A. Thome, recently of Kentucky, relates the following
circumstance, of which he was an eye-witness :

” At a Methodist camp-meeting, held in Kentucky, when the Lord’s
supper was being administered, the officiating preacher arose and made
the following announcement :

‘ As the white brethren have all partaken,
the coloured communicants can now come forward/ Several coloured
men and women approached the altar. At that moment it was discovered
that some whites had not yet received the sacrament ; whereupon the
same preacher proclaimed from the pulpit, ‘The coloured people will
wait a little while, as there are some of our white brethren, who have
not yet partaken/ After these ‘ white brethren had retired from the
altar, the invitation was a second time extended to the coloured people.
Some went forward, but the most withdrew in silence.”

We conclude our extracts with the following summary of the
systematic and almost universal outrages perpetrated upon the
free people of colour in the so-called free states of the American
Union. It is taken from the American Anti-slavery Almanack
for 1839 :

” Our churches, with few exceptions, have a ‘ negro seat,’ where
coloured persons, even clergymen in churches of their own denomination,
are compelled to sit, or leave the house. Almost all our literary institutions
exclude coloured applicants for admission, while the sons of slaveholders
are eagerly beckoned in. Coloured persons, whatever their
respectability, are driven from the cabins of our steamboats and packets,
from our rail-cars, stages, hotels, boarding-houses, tables, theatres, (except
the upper gallery), reading-rooms, libraries, museums, and from the
platforms of our religious anniversaries, from the learned professions,
from literary societies and corporations, from scientific and professional
lectures, from military and fire companies, from the jury-box., and from
all civil offices. They are refused all licenses in most of our cities, and,
generally, the benefit of all asylums and public charities. Merchants
will not take them as clerks, nor lawyers and physicians as students, nor
mechanics as apprentices, nor benevolent societies as agents.”
It may well excite surprise that a feeling so irrational and
wicked should be vindicated by the professed disciples of him
who is no respecter of persons ; yet so it is,—and we may add,
that one of the chief grounds of the bitter hostility, both in
church and state, against the abolitionists, is their denunciation
of this unchristian prejudice. We rejoice to add that the power
of this feeling has been already perceptibly weakened by the
efforts of abolitionists.

We now turn to another topic named in your suggestions—
A brief outline of the abolition movement in the United States.
It may not be amiss to premise by glancing at the rise and progress
of the pro-slavery spirit. The predominant feeling in this
country at the establishment of our independence, and for some
time afterwards, was, as we have already shown, unquestionably
favourable to universal liberty. The countenance of slavery in
the union, at the time of its formation, seems inconsistent with
this supposition; but facts innumerable, demonstrate that to have
been a misjudged measure of temporary policy, rather than the
result of a deliberate purpose to establish slavery as a permanent system. True, it was both a blunder and an enormity, but that
it proceeded from a wish to perpetuate slavery is contradicted by
the entire history of the times and of the men. Such might have
been the motive with some of the southern delegation, but we
have the clearest evidence that it was only a small portion even
of them, who were prompted by such considerations. The tolerance
of slavery as a temporary system was an expedient to conciliate
and secure immediate adherence to the union ; while in
all the states it was conceded, that from the time specified in the
constitution of the United States for the abolition of the African
slave trade (1 808), slavery itself would rapidly tend to extinction.
Ardent attachment to liberty, and sympathy for all who were
oppressed, which were strong feelings of the rising nation, it was
confidently anticipated, would speedily sweep away the last vestige
of American bondage. To the natural, and, as it was
believed, the certain operation of these sentiments, the extinction
of slavery was too securely committed. Had any other result
been anticipated, it would have found no tolerance with a large
majority of the founders of our government. Nearly all the prominent
statesmen of the first days of the republic have left on
record their unqualified reprobation of slavery. We should
rejoice to quote largely from their testimony, but must content
ourselves with a bare reference to a pamphlet, already mentioned,
entitled the ” Power of Congress over the District of Columbia.”
See especially pages 25—37.

A strong anti-slavery feeling pervaded at that period the various
denominations of Christians. Slavery was then the common
mark for denunciation. No one feared, as now most do, to
launch the bolts of truth against it. Statesmen could utter their
abhorrence of it boldly, without fear of losing office. Ministers
could direct against it the artillery of inspiration without incurring
dismission. Editors could wield the influence of the press
against it without forfeiting their lives or their living. Even in
slave states, slavery could be held up to public execration without
calling down the inflictions of lynch law.

Numerous associations were formed both in the free and slave
states, styled Abolition Societies, and expressly avowing as their
object the extinction of slavery.

Of one of these societies, formed in the state of New York, the
Hon. John Jay was first president ; and of another in Pennsylvania,
Benjamin Franklin was first president. These societies
proposed only a gradual abolition of slavery. Irnmediatism was
not then dreamed of. But as it was, these early associations
had a remote influence in effecting the abolition of slavery in the
northern states. We say a remote influence, because it is well
understood that the abolition in those states was dictated in the
main by mere state policy. The discussions of natural rights
which preceded the revolutionary war, contributed in the first
place to arouse public attention to the subject of slavery. This
gave rise to abolition societies and publications, by which a public
sentiment, to some extent previously formed, was greatly
strengthened. The conviction that slavery is a sin, obtained to
a considerable extent ; the conviction that it was a burthen and
a curse became in the free states nearly universal.
We will here make a brief digression to state, in accordance
with your suggestion, our views of the gradual abolition plans
adopted by the northern states.

That they were wrong in principle and disastrous in their operations
we unhesitatingly affirm. Had the projectors of these plans,
recognized the invariable sinfulness of slavery ; had they been
deeply impressed with the wrongs of the slave, and imbued with a
proper sympathy for those who had been so grossly outraged,
under the influence of such sentiments they would, we doubt not,
have adopted more decisive measures. There was no serious obstacle
to immediate abolition. The number of their slaves was small;
their fitness for entire freedom was, in comparison with that of any
large number of slaves that had ever been emancipated, quite conspicuous.

The nature of their employments, and the interests
involved in their enslavement, were not such that immediate
abolition could have produced serious derangements in business
or extensive embarrassment of personal fortunes ; besides, hostility
to immediate emancipation was then undeveloped, and the
national prejudice had not then grown into a frightful monster.
Indeed every circumstance was favourable to a fair experiment
of immediate emancipation. It can never be forgotten, nor-^-we
were about to say—forgiven, to those states that when they held
in their hands the golden opportunity of demonstrating the
safety and policy of immediate emancipation, and settling for ever a question which’ has ever since been under controversy, they
not only allowed it to pass unimproved, but abused it to establish
a precedent of gradualism, which is now in every proslavery
mouth as the decisive argument, against what are called
the wild and impracticable schemes of immediate abolition.
There can be no question but that the influence of abolition in
northern states has fortified southern slavery. Its influence,
moreover, upon the emancipated, has been far less benign, than
immediate emancipation would have been. In the first place,
the time intervening between the passing of the abolition acts
and the actual emancipation, afforded ample opportunity for
masters to transfer their slaves to the southern planter. How
many of the expectants of freedom were, by ingenious evasions,
thus consigned to a more merciless slavery than ever, can never
be known. But conjecture itself could hardly form an exaggerated

In the next place, the proposed end for which gradualism was
mainly adopted—i. e., a preparation for the rights and immunities
of freedom,—was never prosecuted.

No Suitable efforts were made to instruct the slaves and qualify
them for the highest privileges of a state of freedom. In this
respect the acts of abolition we are now considering answered one
good end, and so far as we know, but one—they illustrated the impracticability
of all plans projected toprepare slaves for freedom.

In the third place gradual abolition in the northern states,
served effectually to increase and embitter the prejudice against
the coloured race.

The very feeling in which it originated, ensured this result,
it was a” desire not so much to get rid of slavery as of the
slaves, who were considered an intolerable nuisance. It was
hoped that their emancipation would lead to their gradual
removal, but as most of them continued in the same states, they
became the objects of a far stronger hate as free men, than was
ever felt towards them as slaves—hatred which exhibited itself
in ridicule, scornful reproaches, neglect, exclusion from society,
schools, churches, and all reputable employments—and, after
thus effectually debasing them, reviled them for their degradation,
and charged it upon their incapacity for improvement.
This abolition in the northern states has thus plunged large
numbers of the emancipated into ignorance, indolence, poverty,
and vice ; and that there are, among the free people of colour,
so many exceptions to this dreadful wreck of human intellect and
soul, must be a matter of astonishment to all who appreciate the
influences which combined to crush them.

Bad as have been the results of gradual abolition in these
cases, they must undoubtedly be far worse in the planting
states, where the slaves are very numerous, and where the business
carried on demands large bodies of labourers, with hard and
long continued labour, and special regularity in the management.
We return from this digression with the single remark, that
nothing admits of clearer demonstration, than that the superiority
of immediate, over gradual emancipation, increases with the
number of the enslaved, and the magnitude of all the interests

In view of the strong repugnance to slavery which pervaded
our government in its infancy, the inquiry is very naturally
suggested—what could so soon have given rise to a marked
partiality for it, which has gathered strength ever since, and
threatens to extinguish in Americans all love of liberty and law ?
What could have so completely revolutionized the national
sentiments, that a system which was first regarded with jealousy,
and tolerated only on the supposition that it must soon die of
itself, should in a few years become the paramount national
interest ?

We will glance at some of the causes which have produced
this humiliating change, by which our nation has been struck
down from its sublime attitude as the asserter of human rights,
and degraded into a champion of oppression in its foulest form.
1. The first great cause has been the increasing profitableness
OF SLAVERY. For a time, the products of slave labour constituted a comparatively
small item in the national wealth, and slavery
was correspondingly unimportant. But gradually the cotton
and sugar cultivation, especially the former, became the commanding
interests of the land. The south was growing rich
apace, and the north, with characteristic eagerness for gain,
entered by every crevice through which she could thrust herself,
and began the scramble for gold. Her manufactories, her various
mechanical trades, and her commerce, entered the alliance.
Her adventurous sons, from the shrewd lawyer to the shrewder
pedlar, with his ” notions,” rushed southward. Her fair daughters,
in alarming numbers, began to discover that their native
climate was too severe for their lungs, and that nothing could
rescue them from untimely graves but a residence in the sunny
south. The south soon became the centre of attraction to the
whole union. Her estates were the most splendid, her cultivation
the most lucrative, her manners the most fascinating, and
her hospitalities the most princely. Of all these attractions,
slavery was seen to be the basis. This gave to the south her
resources, her leisure, her polished courtliness, and open-handed
generosity. This made her a land of princes, and a school of
Chesterfields. It was very natural to transfer the admiration
from the effects to the cause ; hence slavery came to be regarded,
by the south herself and by all her admirers, as an ” institution”
most important and indispensable. It could no longer be
viewed in the light of its intrinsic attributes, but was contemplated
through the medium of the magnificent ends which it
subserved. It ceased to be beheld as the vortex of the slaves’
rights, interests, and hopes, and was seen only as the full fountain,
out-pouring its golden sands at the master’s feet.

2. Long familiarity with slavery also very naturally
begat forbearance for it, and forbearance as naturally
ripened into friendship.

3. The spirit of slavery lives only by aggressions upon
Having once obtained a foothold in the republic, it has made
steady and rapid advances, and unless speedily exterminated,
must gain sole possession.

4. Various circumstances contributed to make the master
The master was white—the slave black ; the master was elevated—
the slave degraded; the master was an equal—the slave
an inferior ; the master was a fellow-countryman, a friend, a
relative, a ” Christian”—the slave was a stranger, a suspected
foe, a barbarian. Besides, the master was such, by a sort of
necessity, and could not get rid of his slaves without evil to
them, and peril to himself and his country ; therefore, his holding
them was esteemed both patriotic and humane. Such
was the verdict of public sentiment. Sympathy was thus
entirely misplaced ; while it should have been operating
to shield the helpless against the strong, it was weaving
sophistical defences for the oppressor. This monstrous perversion
of sympathy sealed the fate of the slave almost beyond

5. We must not omit to notice the agency of the Colonization
Society in extending the influence of slavery.
We see this imposing organization claiming to be the only practicable
remedy for slavery, yet powerfully contributing to the
growth and permanence of the most hideous oppression under the
sun. Had its principles been righteous and true, its great power
would have annihilated slavery ; but with such principles as it
boldly avows, and acts upon, its influence is all on the side of the
oppressor. It acknowledges the right of property in man; it
publicly disclaims all interference with that right ; it openly discountenances
emancipation on the soil, declaring slavery to be
preferable ; it reviles and traduces the free people of colour, representing
them as incomparably worse off than the slaves ; it
sanctifies the ferocious prejudice against them by declaring it
11 an ordination of providence,” and ” a law of nature ;” it urges
virtual expatriation as a condition of manumission, teaches that
slavery is not essentially a sin, contends that immediate emancipation
is not a duty, but an egregious folly and a wrong, and,
to crown all its pro-slavery demonstrations, it formally pledges
its opposition to all schemes of abolition which reject the barbarous
policy of expatriation.

Nothing could more effectually lull to sleep the fears and consciences
of slaveholders, than such principles, urged by such a
society. The society was an imposing one. It numbered among
its officers, advocates, and members, nearly all the ministers,
churches, presses, statesmen, judges, professional men, philanthropists,
and men of wealth in all parts of the land. It had
its head quarters at Washington city, and its auxiliaries in nearly
every state capitol, with minor branches in almost every county.
It claimed, withal, to be a religious institution, an organized
missionary society, for the christianization of Africa. For a
society of such pretensions and such patronage to endorse the
system of slavery—at least to assert its present rightfulness, was
reason enough, were there no other, for its growth and stability.
This was a far more effectual support to slavery than if the clergy
or the church, as a body, had sanctioned it, or than if it had the
full concurrence of congress, the judiciary, or the executive,—
for the society combined the sanction of all these, and of every
other class, rank, and condition in the community.

6. The last cause which we shall mention of the rapid
increase of slavery, was the proscription on all discussion
of its merits.

The causes which we have specified, very soon arrested that
spirit of inquiry into slavery, which existed at the establishment
of the government. This was one of their first effects, and
in turn it became a cause—a most efficient one too—of the promotion
of slavery. ” Error, whether of opinion or practice, may
safely be tolerated so long as truth is left free to combat it f
and in no other way can error be effectually reached and routed.
But when error is left rampant, and truth is struck dumb,
when the foulest principles are suffered to grow under the cover
of silence, rank luxuriance is the certain result. Under just such
circumstances slavery has been growing. The south has demanded
that it shall not be discussed, and the north has protested
that it is no concern of hers. The church has called it a
political matter, and politicians have called it a domestic institution,
and so all sects and parties have agreed to leave it with
the south to alter or amend, abolish or perpetuate, as in her
wisdom and mercy she might deem best.

Of course, not to discuss slavery and expose it to the public
gaze, was virtually bidding it God speed. It needs no patronage
of the rich, it craves no advocacy of the learned, it asks no
fostering hand nor watchful care, it begs only for silence—it has
obtained, not only this, but patronage, vindication, fostering, and
vigilance besides.

Considering the causes which have been enumerated, the
enormous growth of slavery is no matter of wonder. The only
wonder is that it has not wholly supplanted the love of liberty,
law, and religion throughout the land.

We come now to glance at the abolition movements.
Perhaps there could not be a more striking evidence of the torpifying
effects of slavery upon the public conscience, than the fact
that no thoroughly serious and systematic effort in the form of an
organization, was made to overthrow it until the commencement
of the year 1832. In the following year, the American Antislavery
Society was organized at Philadelphia. The first
anniversary of this society held in New York in May, 1834,
greatly aroused popular indignation. The daily, commercial,
and political papers, backed by religious periodicals, continued
thenceforward the most persevering attacks upon the principles
and measures of the society. These efforts to excite the mob
effected their desired object. About two months after the Antislavery
anniversary, an abolition meeting was held in New York.
The city papers redoubled the fury of their attack, and beckoned
on the mob to crush this ” treason in the egg.” The mob accord
ingly assembled, and proceeding to the place ofmeeting, dispersed
the assembly. Having once broken loose, they raged unchecked
for several days, They sacked churches, broke into the houses
of some of the most respectable citizens, dragged out their
furniture, and burned it in the streets. They assailed the
dwellings of the coloured people, demolished many of them, and
sought the lives of some of the most prominent abolitionists, who
were obliged to flee from the city.

The doctrines and measures of the Anti-slavery Society were
assailed unceasingly with every form of attack. How far it
gave cause for such unprecedented persecution, may be judged
from the following statement of the measures which it has
pursued from the date of its organization up to the present time.

1. The American Anti-slavery Society, and its auxiliaries, have
employed agents and established presses in the free states, to
advocate the duty and safety of immediate emancipation.
Through these organs they have constantly urged the sinfulness
of slavery, and the consequent duty of immediately abandoning it.

2. They have contended earnestly against all plans of gradual
abolition as wrong in theory, inefficient in practice, and fatally
quieting to the slaveholders’ conscience. Against the Colonization
Society especially, as embodying gradualism in its most
odious form, they have always protested.
3. They have illustrated the safety and policy of immediate
emancipation by a multitude of well authenticated facts. Keeping
their eye upon the experiment in the British West Indies,
after a suitable time had elapsed, delegates were dispatched
thither by the American Anti-slavery Society, to examine
minutely into the operation of the new system. The report of
their delegates was published and has been extensively circulated
in the United States.

4. They have appealed to slaveholders in the language of
affectionate entreaty, and faithful warning, and rebuke, urging
them to do their duty, demonstrating, both from reason and
history, that the path of duty was to them the path of safety.

5. They have laboured to bring the testimony of the bible to
bear with its full force against the abomination of slavery—and
the more so as they have witnessed the numerous attempts to
distort it into a vindication of oppression.

6. They have sought to bring the power of religion in the
free states to bear against slavery, by urging ecclesiastical bodies
to condemn it, and by persuading churches to exclude slaveholders
from their communion, and slaveholding ministers from their
pulpits. These objects have to some extent been effected;
though still the predominant influence of the church in the north
is against the benevolent efforts of the abolitionists. We are,
however, greatly encouraged by the steady revolution which is
going on in this respect ; every year witnesses the accession or
decided approach of Presbyteries, Consociations, Conferences,
and other religious bodies to our principles.

7. The society has maintained an unwavering testimony
against prejudice, whether exercised toward the slave of the
south, or the free coloured man of the north. It has denounced
it as unchristian, unmanly, ‘absurd, and cruel ; as a principal
means of riveting the fetters of the slave, and preventing the
improvement of the free.

8. A cherished object with the society has been the education
and moral improvement of the nominally free people of colour
residing in the free states. Spurned from respectable society,
debarred from schools, excluded from honorable business pursuits,
and virtually shut out of the sanctuary, no one has cared
for their souls. Heart-sick at these horrible prejudices and im239
pious revilings, the abolitionists have labored to elevate this outcast
people. They have established day, and night, and sabbath
schools for their benefit; they have formed temperance, moral
reform, and other societies among them ; they have visited them
at their houses, and freely associated with them at the table, in
the street or in the church, to obtain opportunities of benefiting
them, as well as to administer a practical rebuke to the prejudices
of their white brethren. They have also encouraged
them to form habits of industry, by furnishing or procuring for
them respectable employments. They have, in numerous instances,
induced them to leave the cities (where they have
hitherto been in the habit of congregating) and become cultivators
of the soil. In these efforts to instruct the free coloured
people, abolitionists have been actuated both by a desire to
benefit them personally, and to remove a standing argument
against the emancipation of the enslaved, viz., the degraded condition
of the free.

9. Besides the national society, state societies have been
formed in every free state in the Union, auxiliary to the
former ; and these have branch societies in counties and towns.
Each of the state societies, like the parent society, holds a
public anniversary; each branch society also holds its annual
meeting. Besides these meetings, there are frequent occasional
conventions, either national, state, or county, which serve greatly
to keep the public attention awake, and to disseminate the
principles of the society.

Several of the state organizations support anti-slavery papers.
Massachusetts has two, New York two, Pennsylvania two, Maine
one, Vermont one, New Hampshire one, Connecticut one, Ohio one,
Illinois one, and Michigan one—in all thirteen periodicals devoted
exclusively to the anti-slavery cause. Most of the state societies
likewise employ lecturers within their own bounds, and sustain
depositories of anti-slavery books.

10. Within the last three or four years, the Anti-slavery Society
has effected much in the field of ‘political action. The objects
they have sought to accomplish by this kind of action are the
abolition of slavery in the district of Columbia, and in the territories
under the jurisdiction of congress ; the extinction of the
internal slave trade ; the rejection of all slaveholding territories demanding admission as slave states into the union ; and the recognition
of the independence of Hayti. Over these subjects
congress has constitutional control, and, therefore, they are
legitimate objects of effort politically on the part of abolitionists.
Besides the above-named objects, the abolitionists have sought the
repeal of certain laws in several of the nominally free states, which
are oppressive to the coloured citizen, and to the fugitive from slavery
who may take refuge in these states, or pass through them on their
way to Canada. These ends have been sought by means of
petitions addressed to the national and state legislatures respectively.
Many of the latter have been induced to pass laws, securing
the objects sought by the petitioners. With this mode of
action the abolitionists have connected the questioning of candidates
for state and national offices, respecting their views upon
the various subjects embraced in the petitions. Hitherto the
abolitionists have abstained from forming a separate political party,
though the necessity of this measure, as the only practical and
efficient one, is now strongly advocated by some of the most prominent
abolitionists. The friends of the slave throughout the
country are now discussing this question. What the result will
be is not yet fully developed.

11. We think we may add, without incurring the charge of selfpraise,
that the abolitionists, in the prosecution of their objects,
have evinced no ordinary zeal and self-sacrifice. This has been
the legitimate and almost inevitable consequence Of their situation.
If they have been distinguished for their labours and sufferings, it
is because such a necessity was laid upon them by the unpopularity,
dangers, and difficulties of their cause. To one thing, however,
they have (though for the credit of our countrymen, generally,
we blush to say it) but too exclusive a claim—i. e., to a cordial
sympathy with a despised and trampled race. We cannot avoid
the conviction that nearly all the sympathy of the country, in
behalf of the slaves, is to be found among the abolitionists. There
are, doubtless, some at the north, and we know many at the south,
who secretly remember, to some extent, them that are in bonds, but
not ” as bound with them.” Fear, pride, self-interest, public sentiment,
or mistaken notions of policy constrain them to hide their sympathies
in silence. Ofsuch we have reason to believe there are manyscattered
over the slave states, who are struck dumb by the threats of lynch
law. That there may be a considerable number likewise in the
free states, who would willingly be abolitionists if abolition tcere
less unpopular, we are not disposed to doubt.

But the fears and heart sinkings of the many, do but render
more conspicuous the heroism of the few, who have perilled all
personal interests in the cause of the slave.

This deep sympathy with the outcast has led to the most indefatigable
labours and self-denial. No opportunity of promoting
the cause of emancipation has been allowed to pass unimproved.
No plan that wisdom could devise has been left untried. No
agency nor instrumentality which money could enlist has remained
unemployed. The suggestions of friends and the censures of
enemies have alike been weighed and turned to account. Whenever
an individual, whether of the north or south, conspicuous or
obscure, has been known to be at all disposed to consider the subject
candidly, suitable publications have been despatched to win
him over to the cause of the slave. Numberless private letters
have been addressed to ministers, editors, statesmen, and other
influential classes of citizens in all parts of the country, in order
to acquaint them with the principles of the Anti-slavery Society,
and to impress them with a conviction of their own obligations.
The principles, measures, and objects of the society have ever
been open to the inspection of all ; and it has repeatedly solicited
investigation into them, both from individuals and bodies of
men. They have formally and earnestly solicited an examination
by the national congress, offering to submit for inspection, all their
records, proceedings, and measures. . The only step approximating
to a compliance with these solicitations, was a letter of inquiry into
the operation and extent of the American Anti-slavery Society,
addressed to James G. Birney, Esq., one of the society’s secretaries,
by the Hon. F. H. Elmore, member of congress from South
Carolina. This letter was most cordially received, and elicited an
extended reply. The entire correspondence was embodied in a
pamphlet, and very widely circulated.

The society has ever maintained the same testimony against
slavery, as sin—against gradualism, as sin—against compensation,
as sin—against prejudice, as sin—against expatriation, as sin—
against southern defences and northern apologies for slavery, as sin;
and in favour of immediate emancipation, as duty, safety, and policy.
That such a society should have been popular at a time when
slavery had become the idol of the nation, was not to be expected;
but equally far was it from rational anticipation, that it would have
encountered such lawless and ferocious opposition. No preceding
reform had excited a hundredth part of the popular odium which
this incurred ; though several reformations not dissimilar in principle,
had arisen in jthis country before it. It might have been
supposed that these would have so habituated the public mind to
moral agitations, and so thoroughly established the right of free
discussion, that the car of abolition would have encountered in its
progress no very serious obstructions. But the trumpet of immediate
emancipation was no sooner sounded than the blast of war
broke from the south, and reverberated through the nation. War,
war, was the universal outcry. All, everywhere, were ready to put
down the ” fanaticism.” The alarming conspiracy must be arrested,
peaceably if possible, but forcibly if necessary.

For the first time in the history of our government an emergency
arose so critical afid imminent that the arm of law could
not be relied upon for protection ; that alarming emergency was
the discussion of slavery. For the first time it was deliberately
resolved to abandon the sacred segis of law, and invoke the
aid of the mob-demon. Reason and argument likewise retired
from the field, and committed the defence of the ” patriarchal
institution” to this Goliath. At every turn and step, abolition
was confronted by this omnipresent monster. Especially during
the earlier efforts in the anti-slavery cause, furious mobs were
encountered in every place. There is scarcely a city in the free
states, where the subject of slavery has been at all agitated, in
which there have not been most frightful scenes of violence.
And not only have cities been disgraced with these lawless outrages,
but obscure villages and farming districts in every section
of the country have been convulsed by them. The whole number
of pro-slavery mobs in the free states within the last
seven years, if it were accurately stated, would almost exceed belief.
For many months they were an almost daily occurrence.
Every newspaper recorded some fresh instance of these popular

In speaking oi’the opposition which the anti-slavery society has
encountered, it is almost needless to allude to any other than
mobs. Revilings, misrepresentations, and abusive epithets were
abundant indeed, but these only seemed intended as so many
excitants to the grand extinguisher—the mob. Great ” indignation
meetings ” were held in the principal cities at the north in
which speeches were made and resolutions passed denouncing
the ” incendiary abolitionists.” These also were only a means
to an end, and that end was to embolden the mob. The press
thundered its anathemas against the ” fanatics and traitors ;”
but this was only to call out the vengeance of the mob. Governors
gravely recommended to the legislatures of free states to
enact laws making it penal to discuss the question of slavery;
but this was to give the high sanction of gubernatorial authority
to the more efficient enginery of the mob. Whatever else was
done or said, it is notorious that the great reliance among the
enemies of abolition was the mob. The result has proved how
vain was the reliance.

The repeated outbreaks of popular fury have indeed shaken
most fearfully the pillars of the government, but they have given
no shock to the cause of abolition ; they have covered the American
name with dishonour, but they have only furthered the
progress of the anti-slavery reformation ; they have exposed the
weakness of slavery which has no better arguments to support
it, but they have only developed the indomitable energy and inextinguishable
vitality of immediate emancipation.

This document, protracted as it is, would still be deficient if
it were concluded without adverting to the effects which the
abolition movement has already produced. That its influence
must have been far from insignificant may be inferred from the
rapidity with which it has attracted to its standard vast numbers
of every rank and calling. As no benevolent society in the land
had ever before suffered so much persecution, so none ever made
such rapid progress.

In the commencement of 1832 the first anti-slavery society
was formed at Boston, in Massachusetts, and called the New
England Anti-slavery Society ; it consisted of but twelve members.
In 1833 the American Anti-slavery Society was formed.
In May, 1835, there were 225 auxiliaries. In May, 1836, 527.
In May, 1837, 1006. In May 1838, 1346. In May, 1839,
1650. The auxiliaries average not less than eighty members
each, making an aggregate of one hundred and thirty-two

But the number of auxiliaries and members gives by no means
an adequate idea of the prevalence of anti-slavery principles.
In various degrees they have found a response in the minds of
multitudes beyond the limits of our organization. Nearly all
these acquisitions from the twelve members, in 1832, to the
scores of thousands in 1 839, and the hundreds of thousands who
are beginning to favour our views, have been made out of original
opposers, revilers, and persecutors.

We will now glance at some of the principal effects which
have been produced by the abolition movement.

1. It has broken up the apathy which prevailed throughout
the free states. The absurd notion that the south is alone responsible
for slavery, it has exploded, and furnished an answer
to the question, what has the north to do with slavery? The
abolitionists have shifted the burthen of the responsibility, and
placed it where it belongs,—upon northern shoulders.

2. The labours of abolitionists have exposed the boundless participation
of the north in the guilt of southern slavery.

The people of the free states, indeed abolitionists themselves,
have been astounded at the extent of northern implication in
slave-holding and slave-trading; and yet these shocking disclosures
are only beginning to open upon us.

3. The anti-slavery movements have served to arouse large
numbers of ministers and Christians in the free states, to feel,
pray, and act for the oppressed. Ecclesiastical bodies in increasing
numbers, have spoken out in strong condemnation of slavery,
and have repeatedly addressed letters to similar bodies in the
south filled with faithful remonstrance. The influence of the
northern church is gradually, but surely shifting ground from the
side of the oppressor to that of the slave ; yet even now it must
be confessed that the opposition of professed ministers of the
gospel in the free states is the great obstacle to the progress of
the anti-slavery cause.

4. Another result of the anti-slavery efforts has been the
awakening both of the religious and secular press, to the advocacy
of human rights. In addition to the numerous papers devoted
entirely to the anti-slavery cause, there are many that do
not hesitate to avow anti-slavery principles. Such are found
in various parts of the free states.

5. Another effect of the abolition movement has been the direction
of public attention to slavery in the district of Columbia
as a reproach and sin, in which the whole nation is involved,
and for the continuance of which the free states are especially
responsible. The foul stigma of slavery in the capital of this
republic, and of the slave trade carried on under the sanction
of congress in the district of Columbia ; the power of congress to
abolish these atrocities ; and the ability of the free states by
their superior numbers in congress, to secure such abolition—
are considerations which have been constantly pressed upon the
public mind. Large numbers of petitions have been sent to congress
for several successive years, praying for the abolition of
slavery and the slave trade in the district of Columbia. Notwithstanding
the contemptuous spurning of these petitions their
number has steadily increased. The petitioners show no symptoms
of weariness in well-doing. Meanwhile the discussion of the
great question has thus been thrown into congress, and the arguments
on both sides have been brought before the nation. A
deep and extensive impression has been made of the monstrous
inconsistency of maintaining slavery at the seat of the federal
government • a feeling of abhorrence has been aroused which can
never be satisfied with anything short of abolition in the district!

6. The anti-slavery enterprise has been highly useful in an
indirect way, by testing the strength of the people’s attachment
to the freedom of the press, the freedom of speech, and the right
of petition. During the brief conflict which has been waged
with slavery, each of these pillars of the republic has in its turn
undergone a terrific trial, and the last of the three is at this
moment trembling on its base; but the triumphant result in the
case of the two former encourages the hope, that, though now
jostled from its centre, it will regain its position and survive the

7. The anti-slavery efforts have done much to break the power
of negro prejudice. The thousands of abolitionists themselves
were but so many bond-servants of this despot ; and thousands
and tens of thousands out of the society have been made
ashamed of their prejudices, who once gloried in them.
8. Abolitionists have also been instrumental in improving the
condition of the free people of color. They have demonstrated
that the so-called coloured race are highly susceptible of intellectual
and moral culture (a point gravely questioned by most hitherto)
and that kindness and respectful attentions will be properly
appreciated and reciprocated by them.

9. The anti-slavery efforts have in some degree dissolved the
charm of ” southern chivalry ” and hospitality, by exposing
southern oppressions. Formerly the southerner was thought to
be quite above a mean act. So high was his reputation in the
free states for nobleness, generosity, and honor, that whatever
in him was inconsistent with these virtues, could hardly gain

To disabuse the public mind in this respect was indeed a
mighty task ; and after the ceaseless reiteration of incontestable
facts, and unimpeachable testimony for nearly ten years, this
witching spell of “southern chivalry” is only beginning to break.
Now when ” southern chivalry ” is vaunted, it is almost sure to
draw out an allusion to southern cruelties. Once the former
was alleged to disprove the latter, now the latter begins to be
urged against the pretensions of the former.

10. The anti-slavery movements have begun to emancipate
the north from its ” dough-faced ” submission to southern arrogance
and intimidation. Hitherto the tone of the south toward
the north has been, you shall not discuss slavery, you shall surrender
our fugitive slaves, &c, and the servile free states have
crouched and trembled at the feet of their haughty master.

But this base servility is beginning to give place to an honorable
independence. Instead of demanding, the south has now
to beg ; and still with all her craving, she gets fewer concessions
every year.

11. The abolitionists have been instrumental in exciting a
deep abhorrence of slavery in the minds of multitudes throughout
the free states, which slaveholders see and feel wherever
they traverse them. They can hardly travel in a stage, rail car,
or steam-boat in any of the free states, without finding abolitionists,
and hearing slavery rebuked.

12. Even the unexampled rage which our movements haveinstrumentally
kindled in the south is an indication of good. That
it is not desirable in itself, is readily granted ; but that it is the
invariable first fruits of truth, and the evidence of its having
taken effect is unquestionable, and, as such, we hail it with joy.

13. But our exertions have already begun to excite other
feelings in the slave states besides ” anger, wrath, and malice.”
They have opened the eyes of many persons to the enormities
of slavery. Several slaveholders have already been induced to
emancipate their slaves. Many others are known to the society’s
officers to adopt its sentiments and pray in secret places
for its success.

It may be added that one of the society’s secretaries, James
G. Birney, Esq. is a native, and was till a few years since a resident
of a slave state’, and a slaveholder. He has manifested
the thoroughness of his devotion to anti-slavery principles, by
emancipating his slaves, nearly thirty in number. Two other
gentlemen, natives of slave states, and heirs of slave inheritances,
have been zealous and efficient public lecturers of the
American Anti-slavery Society. One of these, Rev. James A.
Thome, of Kentucky, now a professor in the Oberlin college in
Ohio, was one of the delegates deputed by the American Antislavery
Society, to visit the British West Indies in 1837, and investigate
the results of emancipation there. Mr. Thome is the
author of the work entitled ” Emancipation in the West Indies.”