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Full text of "Daniel O'Connell and the committee of the Irish repeal association of Cincinnati"



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DANIEL O'CONNELL % 



Ay a THE 



COMMilTTEE 



OF THE 



rii| ^i|iiil"^iMirmtifi 



oiisroiisrnsr-^Ti. 



(Trom the Catholic Telegraph of Wednesday August 5th, 1863.) 



[S T B R E T Y P E EDITION.] 



J 



p^ CINCINNATI, O. 

.^y Printed at tJic Catholic Telegraph Office, Con:cr of Vine and Longworth Streets ^^t! 




Daniel O'Connell and the Committee of tlie Irish 
Repeal Association of Cincinnati. 



The Committee, to toTiom the Address from 
the Cincinnati Irish Repeal Association, 
on the subject of Negro Slavery in the 
United States of America, was referred, 
have agreed to the following Report : — 

To D. T. Disney, Esq., 

Corresponding Secretary. 

W. Hunter, Esq., 

Vice-President 



****** *^ 
* * * * * * * 

***** **^' 
*** ***** 



■ * "I Executive Com- 
I mittee of the 
f Cincinnati 
I Irish Repeal 
J Association. 

Corn Exchange Rooms, Dublin, ) 
1 1th October, 1843. J 

Gentlemen : — We have read, with the 
deepest affliction, not unmixed with some 
surprise and much indignation, your detail- 
ed and anxious vindication of the most 
hideous crime that has ever stained human- 
ity — the slavery of men of color in the 
United States of America. We are lost in 
utter amazement at the perversion of mind 
and depravity of heart which your Address 
evinces. How can the generous, the char- 
itable, the humane, the noble emotions of 
the Irish heart, have become extinct amongst 
you? How can your nature be so totally 
changed as that you should become the 
apologists and advocates of that execrable 
system, which makes man the property of 
his fellow-man — destroys the foundation of 
all moral and social virtues — condemns to 
ignorance, immorality and irreligion, mil- 
lions of our fellow-creatures — renders the 
slave hopeless of relief, and perpetuates op- 
pression by law; and, in the name of what 
you call a Constitution ! 

It was not in Ireland you learned this 
cruelty. Your mothers were gentle, kind 
and humane. Their bosoms overflowed 
with the honey of human charity. Your 
sisters are, probably, many of them, still 
amongst us. and participate in all that is 
good and benevolent in sentiment and ac- 



tion. How, then, can yon have become so 
depraved ? How can your souls have be- 
come stained with a darkness blacker than 
the negro's skin ? You say you have no 
pecuniary interest in negro slavery. Would 
that you had 1 for it might be some pallia- 
tion of your crime ! but, alas ! you have in- 
flicted upon us the horror of beholding you 
the volunteer advocates of despotism, in 
its most frightful state ; of slavery, in its 
most loathsome and unrelenting form. 

We were, unhappily, prepared to expect 
some fearful exhibition of this description. 
There has been a testimony borne against 
the Irish, by birth or descent, in America, 
by a person fully informed as to the facts, 
and incapable of the slightest misrepre- 
sentation ; a noble of nature more than of 
titled birth ; a man gifted with the highest 
order of talent and the most generous emo- 
tions of the heart — the great, the good Lord 
Morpeth — he, who, in the House of Com- 
mons, boldly asserted the superior social 
morality of the poorer classes of the Irish 
over any other people — he, the best friend 
of any of the Saxon race that Ireland or the 
Irish ever knew; he, amidst congregated 
thousands, at Exeter Hall in London, mourn- 
fully, but firmly, denounced the Irish in 
America as being amongst the worst ene- 
mies of the negro slaves and other men of 
color. 

It is, therefore, our solemn and sacred 
duty to warn you, in words already used, 
and much misunderstood by you — "to come 
out of her" — not thereby meaning to ask 
you to come out of America, but out of the 
councils of the iniquitous and out of the 
congregation of the wicked, who consider 
man a chattel and a property, and liberty 
an inconvenience. Yes. We tell you to 
come out of such assemblages ; but we did 
not and do- not invite you to return to L-e- 
land. The volunteer defenders of slavery, 
surrounded by one thousand crimes, would 
find neither sympathy nor support amongst 
native, uncontaminated Irishmen. 

Your advocacy of slavery is founded upon 
a gross error. You take for granted that 



— 2 — 



man can be tte property of liis fellow-man. 
You speak in terms of indignation of thpse 
who would deprive white men of their "py-o- 
perti/," and thereby render them less capa- 
ble of supporting their families in afBuence. 
You forget the other side of the picture. 
You have neither sorrow nor sympathy for 
the sufferings of those who are iniquitously 
compelled to labor for the affluence of 
others ; those who work without wages — 
who toil without recompense — who spend 
their lives in procuring for others the splen- 
dor and wealth in which they do not par- 
ticipate. You totally forget the sufferings 
of the wretched black men, who are deprived 
of their all without any compensation or 
redress. If you, yourselves, all of you — or 
if any one of you, were, without crime or 
offence committed by you, handed over into 
perpetual slavery; if you were compelled to 
work from sunrise to sunset without wages, 
supplied only with such coarse food and 
raiment as would keep you in working or- 
der; if, when your ^^oicner" fell into debt, 
you were sold to pay his debts, not your 
own ; if it were made a crime to teach you 
to read and to write ; if you were liable to 
be separated, in the distribution of assets, 
from your wives and your children ; if you 
(above all) were to fall into the hands of a 
brutal master — and you condescend to ad- 
mit that there are sojne brutal masters in 
America — if, among all those circumstances, 
some friendly spirits of a more generous or- 
der were desirous to give liberty to you and 
your families — with what ineffable disgust 
would not you laugh to scorn those who 
should traduce the generous spirits who 
would relieve you, as you now, pseudo-Irish- 
men — shame upon you ! have traduced and 
vilified the Abolitionists of North America ! 

But, you come forward with a justifica- 
tion, forsooth I You say that the Constitu- 
tion of America prohibits the abolition of 
slavery. Paltry and miserable subterfuge ! 
The Constitution in America is founded 
upon the Declaration of Independence. 
That Declaration published to the world its 
glorious principles; that Charter of your 
Freedom contained these emphatic words : 

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident 
" — that All Mkn are cueated equal; that 
" they are endowed by their Creator with 
" certain inalienable Rights ; that amongst 
" these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit 
" of happiness ;" — and the conclusion of 
that Address is in these words : 

" For the support of this Declaration, 
" with a firm reliance on the protection of 
" Divine Providence, we mutually pledge 
'' to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and 
" OUR Sacred IIokor." 

There is American honor for you ! There 
is a profane allusion to the adorable Crea- 
tor I 



Recollect that the Declaration does not 
limit the equality of Man, or the Right to 
Life and Liberty, to the White, to the Brown, 
or to the Copper-colored Races. It includes 
all Races. It excludes none. 

We do not deign to argue with you on the 
terms of the American Constitution ; and 
yet we cannot help asserting that, in that 
Constitution the word "Slavery" or "Slave," 
is not to be found. There are, indeed, the 
words — "persons bound to labor;" but it is 
not said hoip bound. And a Constitutional 
Lawyer or Judge, construing the American 
Constitution with a reference to the Declara- 
tion of Independence, which is its basis, 
would not hesitate to decide that, "bound to 
labor" ought, in a Court of Justice, to mean 
"bound by contract to labor ;" and should 
not be held to imply, ^'■forced or compelled 
to labor," in the absence of all contract, and 
for the exclusive benefit of others. 

However, we repeat that we do not deign 
to argue this point with you ; as we proclaim 
to the world our conviction that no Consti- 
tutional Law can create or sanction slavery. 
Slavery is repugnant to the first principles 
of society ; but, it is enough for us to say, 
as regards Americans, that it is utterly re- 
pugnant to that Declaration of the Equality 
of all Men, and to the inalienable Right of 
all Men to Life and Liberty. To this De- 
claration the free citizens of the United 
States have, in the persons of their ances- 
tors, solemnly pledged their "sacred honor." 

We shall, at once, shew you how that ''^sa- 
cred honor ^ is basely violated ; and also 
demonstrate how totally devoid of candor 
your Address is, inasmuch as yon rely on 
the Constitution of the American States as 
precluding the abolition of slavery ; whilst 
you totally omit all mention of o?ie .District, 
"which the Constitutional Law, alleged by 
you, does not reach. We mean the District 
of Columbia. 

In the District of Columbia there is no 
Constitutional Law to prevent the Congress 
from totally abolishing slavery within that 
District. Your Capitol is there. The Tem- 
ple of American Freedom is there — the Hall 
of your Republican Representatives — the 
Hall of your Republican Senators — the Na- 
tional Palace of your Republican President 
is there — and Slavery is there too, in its 
most revolting form ! The Slave Trade is 
there — the most disgusting Traffic in hu- 
man beinss is there — human flesh is bought 
and sold, like swine in the pig-market — aye, 
in your Capital — your Washington I Yes. 
Let Americans be' as proud as they please, 
this black spot is on their escutcheon. 
Even under the shade of the Temple of 
their Constitution the man of color crawls 
a slave, and the tawny American stalks a 
Tyrant. 

The cruelty of the slave principle rests 



— 3 — 



not there — it goes much farther. The wretch- 
ed slaves are totally prohibited even from 
petitioning Congress. The poor and paltry 
privilege even of prayer is denied them ; 
and you, even you — pseudo-Irishmen ! are 
the advocates and vindicators of such a sys- 
tem. What ! would not you, at least, insist 
that their Groans should be heard ! 

It is carried still farther. Even the free- 
born white Americans are not allowed to 
petition upon any subject including the 
question of slavery; or, at least, no such 
petition can be read aloud or printed. And, 
although the Congress is entitled to abolish 
slavery in Columbia, the door for petition, 
praying that abolition, is closed without the 
power of being opened. 

We really think that men, who came from 
generous and warmhearted Ireland, should 
shrink into nonentity rather than become 
the advocates and defenders of the system 
of slavery. But we trust that the voice of 
indignant Ireland will scatter them, and 
prevent them from repeating such a Crime. 

In another point of view, your Address 
is, if possible, more culpable. You state 
that before the Abolitionists proclaimed 
their wish to have slavery abolished, several 
slave-holding States were preparing for the 
gradual emancipation of their negroes; and 
that humane individuals in other States 
were about to adopt similar measures. 

We utterly deny your assertion, and we 
defy you to shew any single instance of pre- 
paratory steps taken by any State for the 
emancipation of the negroes before the abo- 
lition demand was raised. You violate 
Truth in that Assertion. There were no 
Buch preparations. It is a pure fiction, in- 
vented by slave-holders out of their unjust 
animosity to the Abolitionists. It is said 
that the fear of abolition has rendered the 
slave-holders more strict, harsh and cruel 
towards their wretched slaves — and that 
they would be more gentle and humane if 
they were not afraid of the Abolitionists. 
We repeat that this is not true, and is mere- 
ly an attempt to cast blame on those who 
would coalesce to put an end to negro sla- 
very. 

It is in the same spirit that the criminal 
calumniates his prosecutor, and the felon 
reviles his accuser. It is, therefore, utterly 
untrue that the slave-holders have made the 
chains of the negro more heavy through 
any fear of abolition. 

Yet if you tell the truth ; if the fact he, 
that the negro is made to suffer for the zeal 
of the Abolitionists ; if he is treated with in- 
creased cruelty by reason of the fault of the 
friends of abolition, then, indeed, the slave- 
holders must be a truly Satanic race. Their 
conduct, according to you, is diabolical 
The Abolitionists commit an offence, and 
the unhappy negroes are punished. The 



Abolitionists violate the law of property, 
and the penalty of their crime is imposed 
upon the negro I Can any thing be more 
repugnant to every idea of justice? Yet 
this is your statement. 

We, on the other hand, utterly deny the 
truth of your allegations ; and where we 
find you calumniate the slave-holders we be- 
come their advocates against your calumny. 
You calumniate everybody — slaves — Aboli- 
tionists and slave-owners — framers of Con- 
stitutions — makers of laws — everybody ! 
The slave-holders are not favorites of ours, 
but we will do them justice, and will not 
permit you to impute an impossible crime 
to them. 

You tell us, with an air of triumph, that 
public opinion, in your country, is the great 
Law-c^iver. If it be so, how much does it 
enhance the Guilt of your conduct, that you 
seek to turn public opinion against the slave 
and in favor of the slave-holder ! that you 
laud the master as generous and humane, 
and disparage, as much as you can, the un- 
happy slave; insteadof influencing, as Irish- 
men ought to do, the public mind in favor 
of the oppressed. You carry your exag- 
gerations to a ludicrous pitch, denoting your 
utter ignorance of the history of the humau 
race. You say that "the negro is really in- 
" ferior as a race; that slavery has stamped 
" its debasing influence upon the Africans; 
" that between him and the white almost a 
" century would be required to elevate the 
" character of the one, and to destroy the 
" antipathies of the other." You add— we 
use your own words — "The very odor of the 
" negro is almost insufferable to the white ; 
" and however much humanity may lament 
" it, we make no rash declaration when we 
" say the two races cannot exist together 
"on equal terms under our 'Government 
" and our Institutions.' " 

We quote this paragraph at full length, 
because it is replete with your mischievous 
errors and guilty mode of thinking. 

In the first place, as to the odor of the 
negroes, we are quite aware tbat they have 
not as yet come to use much of the otto of 
Roses or Eau de Cologne. But we implore 
of your fastidiousness to recollect that mul- 
titudes of the children of white men have 
negro women for their mothers ; and that 
our British travelers complain in loud and 
bitter terms of the overpowering stench of 
staletobacco-spittle, as the prevailing "odor" 
amongst the native free Americans. It 
would be, perhaps, better to check this nasal 
sensibility on both sides, on the part of the 
whites as well as of blacks. But it is, in- 
deed, deplorable that you should use a lu- 
dicrous assertion of that description as one 
of the inducements to prevent the abolition 
of slavery. The negroes would certainly 



4 — 



smell at least as sweet when free, as they 
now do being slaves. 

Your important allegation is, that the 
negros are, naturally, an inferior race. That 
is a totally gratuitous assertion upon your 
part. In America you can have no oppor- 
tunity of seeing the negro educated. On 
the contrary, in most of your States it is a 
crime — sacred Heaven ! a crime to educate 
even a free negro ! How, then, can you 
judge of the negro race, when you see them 
despised and contemned by the educated 
classes ; reviled and looked down upon as 
inferior ? The negro race has, naturally, 
some of the finest qualities. They are 
naturally gentle, generous, humane, and 
very grateful for kindness. They are as 
brave and as fearless as any other of the 
races of human beings ; but the blessings of 
education are kept from them, and they are 
judged of, not as they would be with proper 
cultivation, but as they are rendered by 
cruel and debasing oppression. It is as old 
as the days of Homer, who truly asserts that 
the day which sees a man a slave takes away 
half his worth. Slavery actually brutalizes 
human beings. It is about sixty years ago 
when one of the Sheiks, not far South of 
Fez, in Morocco, who was in the habit of 
accumulating white slaves — upon being 
strongly remonstrated with by an European 
power, gave for his reply, that, by his own 
experience, he found it quite manifest that 
white men were of an inferior race, intend- 
ed by nature for slaves ; and he produced 
his own brutalized white slaves to illustrate 
the truth of his assertion. And a case of 
an American, with a historic name — John 
Adams — is quite familiar : Some twenty 
live years ago — not more, John Adams was 
the sole survivor of an American crew, 
wrecked on the African Coast. He was 
taken into the interior as the slave of an 
Arab Chief. He was only for three years 
a slave, and the English and American 
Consuls having been informed of a white 
man's slavery, claimed him and obtained 
his liberation. In the short space of three 
years he had become completely brutalized ; 
he had completely forgotten the English 
language, without having acquired the na- 
tive tongue. He spoke a kind of galible, 
as unintcllectual as the dialects of most of 
your negro slaves; and many months elapsed 
before he recovered his former habits and 
ideas. 

It is, also, a curious fact, as connected 
with America, that the children of the 
Anglo-Saxon race and of other Europeans 
born in America, were, for many years, 
ccnsidered as a degraded and inforiorclass. 
Indeed it was admitted, as if it were an 
axiom, that the native-born American was 
in nothing equal to his European progeni- 
tor; and so far from the fact being disputed, 



many philosophic dissertations were publish- 
ed endeavoring to account for the alleged 
debasement The only doubt was aboutlhe 
cause of it. "Nobody doubted," to use your 
own words, "that the native-born Americans 
were really an inferior race." Nobody dares 
to say so. know; and nobody thinks it. Let 
it, then, be recollected that you have never 
yet seen the negro educated. An English 
traveler through Brazil, some few years ago, 
mentions having known a negro who was a 
Priest, and who was a learned, pious and 
exemplary man in his sacerdotal functions. 
We have been lately informed of two ne- 
groes being educated at the Propaganda and 
ordained Priests — both having distinguish- 
ed themselves in their scientific and theo- 
logical course. The French papers say that 
one of them celebrated Mass and delivered 
a short but able sermon before Louis Phi- 
lippe. It is believed they have both gone 
out with the Ptight Rev. Dr. Baron on the 
African Mission. 

We repeat, therefore, that to judge pro- 
perly of the negro, you should see him edu- 
cated and treated with the respect due to a 
fellow-creature — uninsulted by the filthy 
aristocracy of the skin, and untarnished to 
the eye of the white by any associations 
connected with his state of slavery. 

We next refer to your declaration that 
the two races, viz., the Black and the White, 
cannot exist, on equal terms, under your 
Government and your Institutions. This is 
an extraordinary assertion to be made at 
the present day. You allude, indeed, to 
Antigua and the Bermudas. But we will 
take you to where the experiment has been 
successfully made upon a large scale — 
namely, to Jamaica. 

There the two races are on a perfect 
equality in point of law. There is no mas- 
ter — there is no slave. The law does not 
recognize the slightest distinction between 
the races. You have borrowed the far 
greater part of your Address from the cant 
phraseology which the West Indian slave- 
owners, and especially those of Jamaica, 
made use of before emancipation. They 
used to assert, as you do now, that abolition 
meant destruction ; that to give freedom to 
the negro would be to pronounce the assas- 
sination of the whites; that the negro, as 
soon as free, would massacre their former 
owners and destroy their wives and families. 
In short, your prophecies of the destructive 
effects of emancipation are but faint and 
foolish echoes of the prophetic apprehen- 
sions of the British slave-owners. They 
might, perhaps, have believed their own as- 
sertions, because the emancipation of the 
negroes was then an untried experiment. 
But you — you are deprived of any excuse 
for the reassertion of a disproved calumny. 
The Emancipation has taken place — the 



— 5 — 



compensation given by England was not 
given to the negroes, who were the only per- 
sons that deserved compensation. It was 
given to the so-called "owners." It was an 
additional wrong — an additional cause of 
irritation to the negroes. But, gracious 
Heaven ! how nobly did that good and kind- 
ly race — the negroes — falsify the calumnious 
apprehensions of their task-masters! Was 
there one single murder consequent on the 
emancipation ? Was there one riot— one 
tumult — even one assault ? Was there one 
single white person injured either in person 
or property ? Was there any property spoil- 
ed or laid waste ? The proportion of ne- 
groes in Jamaica to white men is as 300 to 
tJO or eighty per cent. Yet the most perfect 
tranquility has followed the Emancipation. 
The Criminal Courts are almost unemploy- 
ed ; nine-tenths of the jails are empty and 
open ; universal tranquility reigns. Al- 
though the Landed proprietors have made 
use of the harshest landlord power to exact 
the hardest terms by way of rent from the 
negroes, and have also endeavored to extort 
from him the largest possible quantity of 
labor for the smallest wages, yet the kindly 
negro race have not retaliated by one single 
act of violence or of vengeance: the two 
races exist together, upon equal terms, un- 
der the British Government and under Bri- 
tish Institutions. 

Or shall you say that the British Govern- 
ment and British Institutions are preferable 
to yours ? The vain and vaporing spirit of 
mistaken Republicanism will not permit you 
to avow the British superiority. You are 
bound, however reluctantly, to admit that 
superiority or else to admit the falsity of 
your own assertions. Nothing can, in truth, 
be more ludicrous than your declaration in 
favor of slavery. It, however, sometimes 
rises to the very border of Blasphemy. Your 
words are, "God forbid that we should ad- 
vocate 'human bondage in any shape.' " 

Oh ! shame upon you ! How can you 
take the name of the All-Good Creator thus 
in vain ! What are you doing ! Is not the 
entire of your Address an advocacy of hu- 
man Bondage ? 

Another piece of silliness. You allege 
that it is the Abolitionists who make the 
slave restless with his condition, and that 
they scatter the seeds of discontent. How 
can you treat us- with such contempt as to 
use assertions of that kind in your Address ? 
How can you think we could be so devoid 
of intellect as to believe the negro would 
not know the miseries of slavery, which he 
feels every hour oi the four-andtwenty, un- 
less he were told by some Abolitionist that 
slavery was a miserable condition ? 

There is nothing that makes us think so 
badly of you as your strain of ribaldry in 
attacking the Abolitionists. 



The desire to procure abolition is, in it- 
self, a virtue and deserves our love for its 
charitable disposition, as it does respect and 
veneration for its courage under unfavor- 
able circumstances. Instead of the ribaldry 
of your attack upon the Abolitionists, you 
ought to respect and countenance them. If 
they err by excessive zeal, they err in a 
righteous and a holy cause. You would do 
well to check their errors and mitigate their 
zeal within the bounds of strict propriety. 
But if you had the genuine feelings of Irish- 
men you never would confound their errors 
with their virtues. In truth, we much fear 
or rather we should candidly say, we readily 
believe that you attribute to them imaginary 
errors for no other reason than that they 
really possess one brilliant virtue — namely, 
the love of human freedom in intense per- 
fection. 

Again, we have to remark that you exag- 
gerate exceedingly when you state that there 
are fifteen millions of the white population 
in America whose security and happiness 
are connected with the maintenance of the 
system of negro slavery. On the contrary, 
the svstem of slavery inflicts nothing but 
mischief upon the far greater part of the 
inhabitants of America. The only places 
in which individual interest is connected 
with slavery are the slave-holding States. 
Now, in those States, almost without an ex- 
ception (if, indeed, there be any exception), 
the people of color greatly exceed the whites; 
and thus, even if an injury were to be in- 
flicted on the whites by depriving them of 
their slaves, the advantages would be most 
abundantly counterbalanced and compen- 
sated for by the infinitely greater number 
of persons, who would thus be restored to 
that greatest of human blessings — personal 
Liberty. Thus the noble Benthamite maxim 
of "doing the greatest possible good to the 
greatest possible number," would be amply 
carried out into efi"ect by the Emancipatioa 
of the negroes. 

You charge the Abolitionists, as with a 
crime, that they encouraged a negro, flying 
from Kentucky, to steal a horse from an in- 
habitant of Ohio, in order to aid him, if ne- 
cessary, in making his escape. We are not, 
upon full reflection, sufficiently versed in 
casuistry to decide whether, under such cir- 
cumstances, the taking of the horse would 
be an excusable act or not. But, even con- 
ceding that it would be sinful, we are of this 
quite certain, that there is not one of you 
that address us who, if he were under simi- 
lar circumstances, that is, having no other 
means of escaping perpetual slavery, would 
not make free with your neighbor's horse 
to eflectuate your just and reasonable pur- 
pose. And we are also sure of this, that 
there is not one of you who, if he were com- 
pelled to spend the rest of his life as a per- 



6 — 



sonal slaye, worked, and beaten, and sold, 
and transferred from hand to hand, and 
separated, at his master's caprice, from wife 
and family — consigned to ignorance — work- 
ing without wages, toiling without reward — 
without any other stimulant to that toil and 
labor than the driver's cart-whip — we do say 
that there is not one of you who would not 
think that the name of pick-pocket, thief or 
felon, would not be too courteous a name 
c. for the being who kept you in such thraldom. 
'{• We cannot avoid repeating our astonish- 
ment that you, Irishmen, should be so de- 
void of every trace of humanity as to be- 
come the voluntary and pecuniarily-disin- 
terested advocates of human slavery ; and 
especially, that you should be so in America. 
But what excites our unconquerable loath- 
ing is to find that in your Address you speak 
of man being the property of man — of one 
human Being being the property of another, 
with as little doubt, hesitation or repug- 
nance, as if you were speaking of the beasts 
of the field. It is this that fills us with ut- 
ter astonishment. It is this that makes us 
disclaim you as countrymen. We cannot 
bring ourselves to believe that you breathed 
your natal air in Ireland — Ireland, the first 
of all the nations on the earth that abolish- 
ed the dealing in slave.s. The slave trade 
of that day was, curiously enough, a slave 
trade in British youths — Ireland, that never 
was stained with negro slave trading — Ire- 
land, that never committed an offence 
against the men of color — Ireland, that 
never fitted out a single vessel for the traf- 
fiic in blood on the African Coast. 

It is, to be sure, afflicting and heart-rend- 
ing to us to think that so many of the Irish 
in America should be so degenerate as to 
be amongst the worst enemies of the people 
of color. Alas ! alas 1 we have that tact 
placed beyond doubt by the indusputable tes- 
timony of Lord Morpeth. This is a foul blot 
that we would fain wipe off the 'scutcheon of 
expatriated Irishmen. 

Have you enough of the genuine Irish- 
man left amongst you to a.sk what it is that 
we refinire you to do ? It is this : 

First — We call npon you, in the sacred 
name of humanity, never again to volunteer 
on bi'half of the oppressor ; nor even for any 
self-interest to vindicate the hideous crime 
of personal slavery. 

Secondly — We ask you to assist in every 
way you can in promoting the education of 
the free men of color, and in discounte- 
nancing the foolish feeling of selfishness — 
of that criminal selfishness which makes the 
white man treat the man of color as a de- 
graded or inferior being. 

Thirdly — We ask you to assist in obtain- 
ing for the free men of color the full benefit 
of all the rights and franchises of a Freeman 
in whatever State he may inhabit 



Fourthly — We ask you to exert yourselves 
in endeavoring to procure for the man of 
color, in every case, the benefit of a Trial by 
Jury ; and especially where a man insisting 
that he is a Freeman is claimed to be a 
slave. 

Fifthly — We ask you to exert yourselves 
in every possible way to induce slave-owners 
to emancipate as many slaves as possible. 
The Quakers in America have several so- 
cieties for this purpose. Why should not 
the Irish imitate them in that virtue ? 

Sixthly — We ask you to exert yourselves 
in all the ways you possibly can to put aii 
end to the internal slave trade of the States. 
The breeding of slaves for sale is, probably, 
the most immoral and debasing practice 
ever known in the world. It is a crime of 
the most hideous kind ; and if there were no 
other crime committed by the Americans, 
this alone would place the advocates, sup- 
porters and practisers of American slavery 
in the lowest grade of criminals. 

Seventhly — We ask you to use every exer- 
tion in your power to procure the abolition 
of slavery by the Congress in the District of 
Columbia. 

Eighthly — We ask you to use your bes£ 
exertions to compel the Congress to receive 
and read the petitions of the wretched ne- 
groes ; and, above all, the petitions of their 
white advocates. 

Ninthly — We ask you never to cease your 
efforts until the crime of which Lord Mor- 
peth has accused the Irish in America, of 
'•being the worst enemies of the men of 
color," shall be atoned for, and blotted out 
and effaced forever. 

You will ask how you can do all these 
things? You have already answered that 
question yourselves; for you have said that 
public opinion is the Law of A merica. Con- 
tribute, then, each of you in his sphere to 
make up that public opinion. Where you 
have the electoral franchise, give your vote 
to none but those who will assist you in so 
holy a struggle. 

Under a popular Government, the man 
who has right, and reason, and justice, and 
charity, and Christianity itself at his side, 
has great instruments of legislation and le- 
gal power. He has the elements about him 
of the greatest utility ; and even if he should 
not succeed he can 'have the heart-soothing 
consolation of having endeavored to do great 
and good actions. He can enjoy, even in 
defeat, the sweet comfort of having endea- 
vored to promote benevolence and charity. 
It is no excuse to allege that the Congress 
is restricted from emancipating the slaves 
by one fJeneral Law. Each particular slav* 
State has that power within its own pre- 
cincts; and there is every reason to be con- 
vinced that Maryland and Virginia woalil 
have followed the example of New York, 



- 7 - 



and long ago abolished slavery bnt for the 
diabolical practice of "raising." as you call 
it, slaves for the Sourthern market of pesti- 
lence and death. 

Irishmen and the sons of Irishmen have, 
many of them, risen to high distinction and 
power in America. Why should not Irish- 
men and the sons of Irishmen write their 
names in the brightest pages of the chapter 
of humanity and benevolence in American 
story ? 

Irishmen ! our Chairman ventures to 
think, and we agree with him, that he has 
claims on the attention of Irishmen in every 
quarter of the globe. The Scotch and 
French philosophers have proved by many 
years of experiment that the Irishman 
stands first among the races of man in his 
physical and bodily powers. America and 
Europe bear testimony to the intellectual 
capacity of Irishmen. Lord Morpeth has 
demonstrated in the British Parliament the 
superior morality of the humbler classes of 
Irish in all social and family relations. 
The religious fidelity of the Irish nation is 
blazoned in glorious and proverbial cer- 
tainty and splendor. 

Irishmen! sons of Irishmen! descendants 
of the kind of heart and affectionate in dis- 
position, think, oh think only with pity and 
compassion on your colored fellow-creatures 
in America. Offer them the hand of kindly 
help. Soothe their sorrows. Scath their 
oppressor. Join with your countrymen at 
home in one cry of horror against the op- 
pressor ; in one cry of sympathy with the 
enslaved and oppressed, 
" 'Till prone in the dust slavery shall be hurl'd, — 
Its name and nature blotted from the world." 

"We cannot close our observations upon 
the unseemly, as well as silly attacks you 
make upon the advocates of abolition, with- 
out reminding you that you have borrowed 
this turn of thought from the persons who 
opposed Catholic Emancipation in Ireland, 
or who were the pretended friends of the 
Catholics. Some of you must recollect that 
it was the custom of such persons to allege 
that but for the "violence" and "miscon- 
duct" of the agitators, and more particularly 
of our Chairman, the Protestants were about 
to emancipate the Catholics gradually. It 
was the constant theme of the newspaper 
press, and even of the speeches in the Houses 
of Parliament, that the violence and mis- 
conduct of agitators prevented Emancipa- 
tion. It was the burthen of many pamph- 
lets, and especially of tico, which were both 
written, under the title of "Faction Un- 
masked," by Protestants of great ability. 
They asserted themselves to be friends of 
Emancipation in the abstract ; but they al- 
leged that it was impossible to grant Eman- 
cipation to persons whose Leaders miscon- 
ducted themselves as the Agitators did. 



They gratified their hatred to the Catholics 
as you gratify your bad feeling towards the 
negroes, by abuse of the Catholic leaders as 
virulent as yours is against the Abolition- 
ists. But they deceived nobody. Neither 
do you deceive anybody. Every humane be- 
ing perceives the futility and folly of your 
attacks upon the Abolitionists, and under- 
stands that those attacks are but the exhi- 
bition of rancor and malignity against the 
tried friends of humanity. 

You say that the Abolitionists are fanatics 
and bigots, and especially entertain a viru- 
lent hatred and unchristian zeal against 
Catholicity and the Irish. We do not mean 
to deny, nor do we wish to conceal that there 
are amongst the Abolitionists many wicked 
and calumniating enemies of Catholicity and 
the Irish, especially in that most intolerant 
class— the Wesleyan Methodists ; but the 
best way to disarm their mailice is not by 
giving up to them the side of humanity, 
while you, yourselves, take the side of sla- 
very. But, on the contrary, by taking a 
superior station of Christian virtue in the 
cause of benevolence and charity, and iu 
zeal for the freedom of all mankind. 

We wish we could burn into your souls 
the turpitude attached to the Irish in Ame- 
rica by Lord Morpeth's charge. Recollect 
that it reflects dishonor not only upon you 
but upon the land of your birth. There is but 
one way of effacing such disgrace, and that 
is by becoming the most kindly towards the 
colored population, and the most energetic 
in working out in detail, as well as in gen- 
eral principle, the amelioration of the state 
of the miserable Bondsmen. 

You tell us, indeed, that many Clergy- 
men, and especially the Catholic Clergy, are 
ranged on the side of the slave-holders. We 
do not believe your accusation. 

The Catholic Clergy may endure, but they 
assuredly do not encourage the slave-owners. 
We have, indeed, heard it said that some 
Catholic Clergymen have slaves of their 
own ; but, it is added, and we are assured 
positively, that no Irish Catholic Clergyman 
is a slave-owner. At all events, every Cath- 
olic knows how distinctly slave-holding, and 
especially slave-trading, is condemned by 
the Catholic Church. That most eminent 
man. His Holiness, the present Pope, has, 
by an Allocution published throughout the 
world, condemned all dealing and traffic in 
slaves. Nothing can be move distinct nor 
more powerful than the Pope's denuncia- 
tion of that most abominable crime. Yet 
it subsists in a more abominable form than 
His Holiness could possibly describe, in the 
traffic which still exists in the sale of slaves 
from one State in America to another. 
What, then, are we to think of you, Irish 
Catholics, who send us an elaborate vindi- 
cation of slavery without the slightest cea- 



— 8 — 



snre of tliat hateful crime ? a crime which 
the Pope has so completely condemned — 
namely, the diabolical raising of slaves for 
sale, and selling them to other States. 

If you be Catholics you should devote 
your time and best exertions to working 
out the pious intentions of His Holiness. 
Yet you prefer — oh, sorrow and shame ! to 
volunteer your vindication of everything 
that belongs to the guilt of slavery. 

If you be Christians at all, recollect that 
slavery is opposed to the first, the highest, 
and the greatest principles of Christianity, 
which teach us "to love the great and good 
God above all things whatsoever;" and the 
next "to love our fellow-man as ourselves ;" 
which commands us "to do unto others as 
we would be done by." These sacred prin- 
ciples are inconsistent with the horrors and 
crimes of slavery ; sacred principles which 
have already banished domestic bondage 
from civilized Europe, and which will also, 
in God's own good time, banish it from 
America, despite the advocacy of such puny 
declaimers as you are. 

How bitterly have we been afflicted at 
perceiving by the American newspapers, 
that recently in the city which you inhabit 
an opportunity was given to the Irish to ex- 
hibit benevolence and humanity to a color- 
ed fellow-creature, and was given in vain ! 
We allude to the case of the girl Lavinia, 
who was a slave in another State, and 
brought by her owner into that of Ohio. 
She by that means became entitled to her 
freedom, if she had but one friend to assert 
it for her. She did find friends — may the 
great God of Heaven bless them I Were 
they Irish ? Alas I alas ! not one. You 
sneer at the sectaries. Behold how they 
here conquer you in goodness and charity. 
The owner's name, it seems, was Scanlan ; 
unhappily a thorough Irish name. And he, 
it appears, has boasted that he took his re- 
venge, by the most fiendish cruelty, not upon 
Lavinia or her protectors, for they were not 
in his power, but on her unoflFending father, 
mother and family I 

And tJiis is the system which yon, Irish- 
men, through many folio pages of wicked 
declamation, seek at least to palliate if not 
justify. Our cheeks burn with shame to 
think that such a monster as Scanlan could 
trace his pedigree to Ireland. And yet you, 
Irishmen, stand by in the attitude rather of 
friends and supporters, than of impugners 
of the monstrous cruelty. And you prefer 
to string together pages of cruel and heart- 
less sophistry in defence of the source of 
his crimes, rather than take part against 
him. 

Perhaps it would offend your fastidious- 
ness if such a man were compared to a pick- 
pocket or a felon. We respect your preju- 



dices and call him no reproachful name. 
It is, indeed, unnecessary. 

We conclude by conjuring you, and all 
other Irishmen in America, in the name of 
your fatherland — in the name of humanity 
— in the name of the God of Mercy and 
Charity; we conjure you. Irishmen and de- 
scendants of Irishmen, to abandon for ever 
all defence of the hideous negro slavery sys- 
tem. Let it no more be said that your feel- 
ings are made so obtuse by the air of Ame- 
rica that you cannot feel as Catholics and 
Christians ought to feel this truth — this 
plain truth, that ONE max cannot have any 
PROPERTY IN ANOTHER MAN. There is not 
one of you who does not recognize,/ that 
principle in his own person. Yet we per- 
ceive — and this agonizes us almost to mad- 
ness — that you, boasting on Irish descent, 
should, without the instigation of any pecu- 
niary or interested motive, but out of the 
sheer and single love of wickedness and 
crime, come forward as the volunteer de- 
fenders of the most degrading species of 
human slavery. Woe ! Woe ! Woe ! 

There is one consolation still amid the 
pulsations of our hearts. There are — there 
must he genuine Irishmen in America — • 
men of sound heads and Irish hearts, who 
will assist us to wipe off the foul stain that 
Lord Morpeth's proven charge has inflicted 
on the Irish character — who will hold out 
the hand of fellowship, with a heart in that 
hand, to every honest man of every caste 
and color — who will sustain the cause of 
humanity and honor, and scorn the paltry 
advocates of slavery — who will shew that 
the Irish heart is in America as benevolent 
and as replete with charitable emotions as 
in any other clime on the face of the earth. 

We conclude. The spirit of democratic 
liberty is defiled by the continuance of ne- 
gro slavery in the United States. The 
United States, themselves, are degraded be- 
low the most uncivilized nations, by the 
atrocious inconsistency of talking of liberty 
and practising tyranny in its worst shape. 
The Americans attempt to palliate their 
iniquity by the futile excuse of personal in- 
terest ; hut the Irish, who have not even that 
futile excuse, and yet justify slavery, are 
utterly indefensible. 

Once again — and for the last time — we 
call upon you to come out of the councils 
of the slave-owners, and at all events to free 
yourselves from participating in their guilt. 

Irishmen, I call on you to join in crush- 
ing slavery, and in giving Liberty to every 
man of every caste, creed and color. 

Signed by order, 

Daniel O'Conneli., 

Chairman of the Committee. 









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