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Full text of "Papers on the slave power : first published in the "Boston Whig," in July, August, and September, 1846"

Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 witin funding from 

Associates of tine Boston Public Library / The Boston Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/papersonslavepow1846palf 






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PAPERS 




THE SLAVE POWER 



FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE 



ec 



BOSTON WHIG," 



IN JULY, AUGUST, AND SEPTEMBER, 1846. 



BY JOHN G. PALFREY, 



OF CAMBRIDGE, MIDDLESEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS. 



"The treatment of the colored race is, in America, tlie great question of the 
present generation ; socially, politically, morally, religiously, there is none which 
can compare with it." — Bishop Wilberforce. 



SECOND EDITION. 



BOSTON: 
MERRILL; COBB & * CO. 

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ADVERTISEMENT TO THE SECOND EDITION. 



The call for a second edition of these papers indlcateg the prospect of a much 
larg-er circulation than was at all anticipated when they were originally prepai-ed for 
the coliiinns of a newspaper. This circainstance renders it proper to make one or 
two remarks. 

If 1 had thought that, in justice to the great subject, I was at liberty to defer so 
far to the wishes of friends whose friendship I value more than most earthly things, — 
whose opinions I hold in as great respect as perhaps any reflecting man ought to 
hold the opinions of others, — I would have omitted, in this republication, the refer- 
ences to proceedings in Massachusetts last year on the annexation of Texas. But I 
am persuaded that the action of Massachusetts on that subject is an essentially im- 
portant part of the history. I believe that light and impulse are still to go out from 
her, as in other political crises of the nation ; and however small may be any possi- 
ble agency of mine in this diffusion, I do not feel at liberty to withhold it, nor, in 
giving it, to pass over in silence the influences that appear to me to have obstructed 
her activity. 

So far as I have spoken of the commercial relations between Massachusetts and 
the South, and especially of the influence of the- great interest of the cotton manu- 
facture, as enfeebling opposition here to the'wrongs of the Slave Power, I have said 
nothing which ought to surprise as if it were new. Some of the best considered 
passages in the writings of the late Dr Channing, for instance, present this view 
in impressive language. To numerous minds nothing is clearer, than that while 
the people of this Commonwealth have in general viewed with a strong sensibility 
the usurpations of slavery, the influence of the interest in question has been thrown 
with a mischievous weight into the other scale. That interest was entitled to res- 
pect and forbearance, and has enjoyed them to the very utmost. If it does not 
share in the more patriotic sentiments that prevail, it must and can no longer sup- 
press their expression and activity. It is common to reproach those whose minds 
are strongly exercised by the character and encroachments of slavery with being 
" men of one idea; " and for one, I avow the opinion that the social, political and 
moral evil of that institution ought to be, at this time, the predominant idea in the 
mind of an American statesman and patriot. On the other hand, the person who 
does not see that there are those who esteem the advancement of mere industrial 
prosperity, and this particularly in one branch, to be the great political question of 
the day, appears to me to be merely blind to what is passing around him. I think 
he does not read the newspapers. 

The departure in 1845 of a portion of the Whig party in Boston, while the an- 
nexation of Texas was still a pending question, from the ground.before stedfastly 
held by that party, I regard as a great public wrong, the consequences of which 
may not pass away in our day, certainly not unless earnest means are used to ex- 
pose and counteract it. It was of course the act of individuals, who of course sub- 
jected themselves to the censure of such as, adhering to the previous policy, lament 
and condemn it. Others may have most sensibility to animadversions on the course 
of the seceders. I am most moved by the shame, crime, and woes of Texas annex- 
ation, and the Mexican war. 

If I have written v/ith warmth and earnestness, I could not do otherwise in justice 
to my convictions of the immense importance of the theme. No wonder if it excites 
strong feeling on the part of those who look at it from either point of view ; and pos- 
sibly some things may be said on both sides, of a nature to give ofl^ence, which it 
may appear, at a future day, migiit jiave been omitted without prejudice to the ar- 
gument. No case presents more difficulty in discussion than one of this nature. 
We seem to want a new language, to express with distinctness our reprobation of 
what we esteem public misconduct, and our apprehension of the influences which 
have led to it, with sufficient qualifications and reserve, at the same time, in respect to 



2 ADVERTISEMENT. 

those moral motives of others, which no man can certainly know. But history does 
not pass over in silence the probable or apparent causes of public action. No more 
can contemporaneous controversy, if it pretends to be just and frank. Nor is one, 
more than the other, to be understood as transgressing any rights of private char- 
acter. When I said, in introducing the subject of the backsliding in Massachu- 
setts, that " motives are by no means always evident, even to the party moved," I 
only suggested a familiar principle, which I suppose is taken for granted by intel- 
ligent writers and readers. The writer taltes it along with him, as superseding the 
necessity of repeated explanations and qualifications, and the reader, as forbidding 
him to understand every expression of blame as an imputation of deliberate and con- 
scious criminality. Burke only expressed the terms on which every fair writer un- 
derstands himself to be proceeding with every fair reader, when he said, " I do 
not conceive you to be of that sophistical, captious spirit, or of that uncandid dul- 
ness, as to require for every general observation or sentiment, an explicit detail of the 
corrections and exceptions, which reason will presume to be included in all the gen- 
eral propositions which come from a reasonable man ; " and the rule is equally good, 
when it is individual conduct that is the subject of remark. 

As to the case in hand, there would be far less reason than there is to abhor slav- 
ery, if its deceptions did not, as I and many think, confuse and mislead good men, 
and throw them into a false position. For aught I, or any man, can certainly know, 
they who exalt the Tariff above every other political question of the day entertain 
that preference for it because of their conviction, that, more than every other, it con- 
cerns the public good. But whether this view, or any more personal, is the occa- 
sion of their preference, the preference is in either case a fair and legitimate subject 
for unfavorable comment. With the same certainty with which I know that I am no 
disunionist, others, whose course I condemn, may know that they are no voluntary or 
interested supporters of slavery. I must condemn their course notwithstanding, and 
do my little endeavor to obstruct its success. 1 have certainly no ill-will against 
any individuals to whom I have referred in this connexion, and 1 have not desired 
to make any allusions to them which did not belong to the history of the subject. I 
am far from imagining that the community knows any thing of me, which makes it 
any more likely that those prominent in the movement would knowingly adopt a 
wrong course, than that I would misjudge their conduct. Were my testimony of any 
value, I should be as prompt and happy as any one to testify that they are entitled 
to every presumption in favor of the integrity of their public action, which can be 
afforded by an upright course in private life. 

Some of the considerations above stated apply equally to remarks which I have 
made on the course and character of slaveholders. 1 have not been at pains to 
throw in all the necessary qualifications, relating to those influences of education, 
position, and so on, which require allowance in a moral estimate. Every candid 
mind supplies them, 

J. G. P. 

November, 1846. 



THE SLAVE POWER. 



CONTENTS. 

uOUitBii f 

Noi I. — Its Foundation . . . . . . . 1 

No. II. — Its Place in the Federal Constitution .... 3 

No. III. — First Step forward in the Legislature. — Abolition of Jury Trials 

for the Question of Personal Liberty . . .7 

No. IV. — Re-inforced with French and Spanish Auxiliaries . . 9 

No. V. — Plot for another Alliance ..... 13 

No. VI.— No Outside Row to the Cotton Field . . . .16 

No. VII. — Fortified with a Quarter part of Mexico • • • 19 

No. VIII. — Objections to Texas Annexation in the Free States. — Counter- 
Current in Massachusetts .... 21 

No. IX. — Consequences of Cottoning to it in the North . . 24 

No. X. — What has the North to do with it ? — The Northern People are 

a Fraction of the Human Race . . . .28 



No. XL — What has the North to do with it ? — Business of the North 

sacrificed ..... 31 



No. XII. — What has the North to do with it ? — Its influence on the Com- 
petency of Voters and Rulers ... 35 

No. XIII.— What has the North to do with it ? — Costly and Wicked Wars 38 



IV CONTENTS. 



No. XIV.— What has the North to do with it ? — The North defrauded 

and brow-beaten by its Common Legislation . 42 

No. XV. — What has the North to do with it ? — Outrages on Northern 

Citizens ...... 45 



No. XVI. — Its Tyranny over the Non-Slaveholders of the South . 50 

No. XVII. — It exists by the Sufferance of the Southern Non-Slaveholders 54 

No. XVIII.— Who will be harmed by its Overthrow ? Not the Slaveholder 60 

No. XIX. — Who will be harmed by its Overthrow ? —Prudential Considera- 
tions for the Slaveholder . . . .63 



No. XX. — Who will be harmed by its Overthrow ? — Economical Considera- 
tions for the Slaveholder .... 66 

No. XXI. — Who will be harmed by its Overthrow ? — Economical Consid- 
erations for the Slaveholder . . . .70 



No. XXII.— What should the Free States do about it? . . 75 

No. XXIIL— What can the Free States do about it? ... 80 



No. XXIV.— What must the Free States do about it ? — What must Massa- 
chusetts do ? . . . . . .86 



THE SLAVE POWER. 



NO. I. 

ITS FOUNDATION. 



Most New England men, who have talked five minutes with a 
Virginian, have heard him illustrate the characters of the two races 
by a reference to their Roundhead and Cavalier origin. He is apt to 
be under some misapprehension of the facts. Of the Roundhead 
founders of Massachusetts many were persons of fortune and educa- 
tion, and not a few were of the noble and gentle blood of England. 
The settlers of Virginia were Cavaliers of that sort of which Wild- 
rake, in Scott's novel of Woodstock, is the type and embodiment. 
" A great part," so says Captain Smith, the man who saved them 
from self-destruction, " were unruly sparks, packed off by their friends 
to escape worse destinies at home. Many were poor gentlemen, 
broken tradesmen, rakes, and libertines, footmen, and such others as 
were much fitter to spoil and ruin a Commonwealth than to help to 
raise or maintain one." 

These were just the sort of people for slavery to suit. A Dutch 
ship, in 1620, brought some African slaves into James River, and 
from that time the importation went on rapidly. The foundation of 
the domestic institution, and of the social fabric of the South, were 
laid. When, in 1646, a cargo of Africans were brought from the 
slave-coast to Boston, the magistrates sent them back, declaring 
themselves " bound by the first opportunity to bear witness against 
the heinous and crying sin of man-stealing."* The destiny of New- 
England was to be different. 

The settlement of South Carolina began with negroes from the 
West Indies, and in a (ew years their number within her borders 
was nearly double that of the whites. If to other colonies belonged 

* "The General Court, conceiving themselves bound by the first opportunity to 
bear witness against the heinous and crying sin of man-stealing, as also to prescribe 
such timely redress for what is past, and such law for the future, as may sufficiently 
deter all others belonging to us to have to do with such vile and most odious 
l^courses, justly abhorred of all good and just men, do order that the negro interpre- 
ter and others unlawfully taken, be by the first opportunity (at the charge of tlie 
country for the present) sent to their native country, Guinea, and a letter of indig- 
nation of tlio Court thereabouts, desiring our honored Governor would please to put 
this in execution." [Massacii use tts Colony Laws, 1646] They were so scrupu- 
lous as to send and bring back one who had been smuggled down into Maine. 

\ - .... '■■.■ 



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4 THE SLAVE POWER. 

the bad eminence of an earlier introduction of slavery, Georgia claims 
the still more odious one of superseding with it, after twenty years, 
the humane institutions of her philanthropic founder. From Vir- 
ginia slavery easily passed over into North Carolina, Maryland and 
Delaware. Pennsylvania, after a period of fluctuating policy, finally 
bounded its progress towards the North. There were slaves indeed 
in considerable numbers in New York and New Jersey, and some in 
the Eastern States. But they were principally employed as domes- 
tic servants ; the hardship of their condition was much mitigated ; 
and they made but an immaterial element in the constitution of 
Northern society. In May, 1701, Boston instructed its representa- 
tives to move to " put a period to negroes being slaves." But the 
power of the mother country stood in the way. The Constitution 
of Massachusetts was established in 1780. In 1781, a bill was found 
in Worcester county against a white man for assaulting and impris- 
oning a black. It was tried before the Supreme Court in 1783. 
The defence was, that the black was a slave, and that the act char- J- 
ged was the necessary restraint and correction of the master. But 
the Court held that under the clause in the Declaration of Rights, 
that " all men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, es- 
sential and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the 
right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties," there could 
could be no legal slavery in Massachusetts. The jury thought so 
too; the master was convicted, and fined forty shillings ; and the 
question was settled for ever. 

At the end of the seventeenth century, South Carolina, with the 
labor of her slaves, produced abundance of the best rice in the world. 
The profitableness of the bondman of course riveted his chains. Of 
the humble but excellent men who fled to America from Popish per- 
secution in France, the smaller portions planted themselves in Mas- 
sachusetts and New York, the largest in South Carolina. The 
South Carolina emigrants or their children fell into the bad princi- 
ples and practices of their neighbors; and the representatives of the 
refugee Huguenots of 1686 were, in 1786, almost the only champi- 
ons of slavery in the Convention for devising a Constitution to give 
practical efficacy to the maxims of the Declaration of Independence, 
that " all men are born free and equal, and have certain inalienable 
rights." 

In 1790, Virginia had 293,427 slaves. The number in the 
whole United States was less than 700,000. In 1800, there were 
still not quite 900,000. In 1810, after the acquisition of Louisiana, 
the census of slaves fell a little short of 1,200,000. In 1820, there 
were more than 1,500,000; in 1830, more than 2,000,000; in 
1840, nearly 2,500,000; and in 1846, the number considerably ex- 
ceeds 3,000,000, being greater than that of the whole white popula- 
tion of the country at the close of the revolutionary war. 

The wickedness and present mischiefs of slavery, and something 







^^^tJ^Ct^^ oLu„^ 



THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. 5 

of its threatening aspect upon the future, were seen by discerning 
men before the Federal Union. Mr. Jefferson wrote his " Azotes 
on Virginia " in 1781. "The whole commerce between master 
and slave," said he,* " is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous 
passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and de- 
grading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn 
to imitate it: for man is an imitative animal. ***** 
The parent storms ; the child looks on ; catches the lineaments of 
wrath ; puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves ; gives 
loose to the worst of passions ; and thus nursed, educated, and daily 
exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious pe- 
culiarities. The man must be a prodigy, who can retain his manners 
and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what 
execration should the statesman be loaded, who, permitting one half 
of the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms 
those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys the morals of 
the one part, and the amor patrice of the other. ***** 
In a warm climate, no man will labor for himself who can make an- 
other labor for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves 
a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labor. And can the 
liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their 
only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these 
liberties are of the gift of God ; that they are not to be violated but 
with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country, when I reflect 
that God is just ; that his justice cannot sleep for ever ; that, consid- 
ering numbers, nature, and natural means only, a revolution of the 
wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events ; 
that it may become probable by supernatural interference. The 
Almighty has no attribute which can take sides with us in such a 
contest." 



NO. II. 



ITS PLACE IN THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. 

In the Convention for forming a Federal Constitution, questions 
relating to Slavery could not fail to present themselves with promi- 
nence. In the discussions and negotiations to which it gave rise, 
Virginia, which owned nearly half the slaves in the country, acted 
a comparatively generous part. Maryland and North Carolina fol- 
lowed her lead. South Carolina, which owned the next most, and 
Georgia, were moved by other instincts. 

Under the old Confederation, when Congress assessed upon the 

* Answer to Query 18. 



;6 THE SLAVE POWER. 

several States the portion which they were respectively to raise of a 
gross sum of money, and the States proceeded to tax, each its own 
citizens, the rule of assessment was early made a question. One 
proposal was, that the States should be taxed in proportion to the 
value of lands and houses ; another, in proportion to the number 
of inhabitants ; another, to the number of white inhabitants ; anoth- 
er, that two slaves should count as one freeman. The rule finally 
adopted was founded on the value of occupied land. The same 
question occurred again in the Convention for framing the Federal 
Constitution. Taxation, which was to go hand in hand with repre- 
sentation in the popular branch of the Legislature, was of course to 
be proportioned to the amount of property. But what was the best 
practical measure of property, as between different States ? It was 
agreed that the amount of population was so. But were slaves, 
who in one view were human beings, and in another were property 
like any other stock on a farm, were they, or were they not, to be in- 
cluded in the census, so as to increase the taxes of the States to 
which they belonged ? Here arose a question which it was found 
could only be settled by both parties yielding something, and at 
length the principle of an enumeration of three-fifths of the slaves 
was agreed to.* The constitutional provision accordingly stands 
thus ; " Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned 
among the several States, which may be included within this Union, 
according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by 
adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound 
to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three- 
fifths of all other persons."! 

This is the famous Compromise. Believed by the free States at the 
time to be comparatively unimportant, because having reference to a 
merely temporary state of things, it has come to be the lodging-place 
of the leading policy of the Government, and bids fair to annul the 
purpose for which the Constitution of the United States of America 
was declared to be ordained and established ; viz : " to form a more 
perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide 
for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure 
the blessings of liberty." 

Three things are observable as to this most unfortunate measure. 

1. It was a compromise in which the free States have received 
nothing in return for what they yielded ; a bargain, in which payment 
has been made only on one side. The free States agreed to allow 
a representation for three-fifths of the negroes in the popular branch 

* In respect to taxation, this was but a continuation of the plan which had been 
adopted on the revisal of the terms of confederation in 1783. At that time various 
plans were brought forward for including slaves in the census of persons, as part of 
the basis of taxation. Different proposals were made to enumerate slaves, in the 
proportion of four as equivalent to three freemen ; four to one ; two to one ; and 
three to two. The proposition of five to three was finally agreed to, on the mo- 
tion of Mr. Madison. 

t Art. 1, § 2. 



THE COMPROMISE. t 

of the national Legislature, in consideration of taxes being paid 
by the Slave States in the same proportion. But, as things have 
turned out, they have received no quid for their enormous quo. It 
was expected that the government would be supported, in great part 
at least, by direct taxation. But a better revenue policy was imme- 
diately adopted. The government has been almost wholly main- 
tained by the duties on imported articles, aided by the comparative- 
ly small income from the sales of the public lands. No direct tax 
has been levied, except towards the close of the war of 1812, and a 
tax of two millions in 1798. The constitutional provision, so far 
as it went to compensate the Free States for the sacrifice they made, 
is a dead letter. The Slave States have enjoyed their purchase, 
and have not paid its price. 

2. It was expected by both parties to prove a merely temporary 
arrangement. The institution to which it related, was believed to 
be doomed. Georgia and South Carolina, in their small way, did 
not give up the idea of holding on to slavery, but the whole current 
of opinion in the more considerable States was the other way. Ac- 
cordingly, the word slave or slavery is not used in the Constitution, 
either in the cornpromise article, or in the only other provision in 
which the institution is referred to, that for the restoration of fu- 
gitives. The Constitution was not allowed to record the word, 
because it was understood that the thing was soon to perish, and 
the Constitution ought not to enshrine its detestable memory. It 
was a great question in the Convention, whether and when the 
Federal Government should have power to abolish the foreign Slave 
Trade. The arrangement finally fixed on was, that it might abolish 
that trade in 1808. Every one who reads the debates on the subject, 
sees that the speakers regarded the questions of the cessation of the 
foreign Slave Trade, and the cessation of Slavery in the United States, 
as substantially one and the same, as differing only in the particular 
that, in point of time, one would be a little in advance of the other. 

3. No one dreamed that even for the short time the arrangement 
was expected to last, it was to have any application except to the 
original thirteen States. It was felt to be a very hard bargain for 
the free States, any way. Governeur Morris, of Pennsylvania, said 
in the Convention, that "he would sooner submit himself to a tax 
for paying for all the negroes in the United States, than saddle pos- 
terity with such a Constitution." " He never would concur in up- 
holding domestic slavery. It was a nefarious institution." " The 
admission of slaves into the representation, when fairly explained, 
comes to this, that the inhabitant of Georgia and South Carolina 
who goes to the coast of Africa, and in defiance of the most sacred 
laws of humanity, tears away his fellow-creatures from their dearest 
connexions, and damns them to the most cruel bondage, shall have 
more votes in a government instituted for protection of the rights of 
mankind, than the citizen of Pennsylvania or New Jersey, who 



b THE SLAVE POWER. 

views vvith a laudable horror so nefarious a practice."* But no one 
imagined that other communities, beyond the then existing bounds 
of the States, were to come in and claim a share in the agreement. 
The delegates from the free States saw the evil and sacrifice to be 
enormous. But they thought they saw to the bottom of it. Their 
posterity have reason to know that they were grievously mistaken. 
The opinions that prevailed respecting the short duration of the 
evil that had been assented to, appear in the debates of the State 
Conventions for adopting the Constitution. Judge Dawes said, in 
the Massachusetts Convention, " it would not do to abolish slavery 
by an act of Congress, in a moment, and so destroy what our South- 
ern brethren consider as property. But we may say, that although 
slavery is not smitten by an apoplexy, yet it has received a mortal 
wound, and will die of a consumption."! " After the year 1808," 
said Mr. Wilson, in the Pennsylvania Convention, " the Congress 
will have power to prohibit the importation of slaves, notwithstand- 
ing the disposition of any State to the contrary. I consider this as 
laying the foundation for banishing slavery out of this country ; and, 
though the period is more distant than I could wish, yet it will pro- 
duce the same kind, gradual change, which was produced in Penn- 
sylvania. ***** In the mean time, the new States which are 
to be formed, will be under the control of Congress in this particular ; 
and slaves will never be introduced among them.":): On the other 
hand, the doctrine that the general government had no power over 
the institution of slavery in the States, was unknown in those times. 
In the Convention, the South Carolina and Georgia gentlemen clam- 
ored for a clause containing the denial of such a power. *§> But it 
was steadily denied them. " There is no clause in the Constitution," 
said Mr. George Mason in the Virginia Convention, " that will pre- 
vent the northern and eastern States from meddling with our whole 
property in slaves. There is a clause to prohibit the importation 
of slaves after twenty years, but there is no provision made for secur- 
ing to the Southern States those they now possess. ***** 
There ought to be a clause in the Constitution to secure us that 
property, which we have acquired under our former laws, and the 
loss of which would bring ruin on a great many people. "[| Patrick 
Henry "asked, why it was omitted to secure us that property in 
slaves, which we held now ? He feared its omission was done with 
design. They might lay such heavy taxes on slaves, as would amount 
to emancipation. ****** Imposts (or duties) and excises, 
were to be uniform. But this uniformity did not extend to taxes. 
This might compel the Southern States to liberate their negroes. 
He wished this property therefore to be guarded. "H In a debate in 

* Madison papers, 1263, &c. 

t Elliot's Debates, vol. i. p. 60. 

t Ibid. vol. iii. pp 250, 251. 

§ Madison, 1187, 1447. 

II Elliot's Debates, vol. ii. p. 219. 

f Ibid. p. 337. 



SLAVERY ABOVE THE TRIAL BY JURY. 9 

the Federal House of Representatives, in March, 1790, on the pre- 
sentation of a memorial of the Quakers on the slave-trade, Mr. 
Madison "adverted to the Western country, and the cession of 
Georgia, in which Congress have certainly the power to regulate the 
subject of slavery, which shows that gentlemen are mistaken in sup- 
posing that Congress cannot constitutionally interfere in the business 
in any degree whatever." 



NO. III. 



FIRST STEP FORWARD IN THE LEGISLATURE.— ABOLITION 

OF JURY TRIALS FOR THE QUESTION OF 

PERSONAL LIBERTY. 

Every person in the United States is the subject of two govern- 
ments ; and it is remarkable how different his political relations are, 
according as he is regarded as belonging to the one or the other. 
We, of this Commonwealth, considered as the people of Massachu- 
setts, are free citizens of an excellently constituted republic. Con- 
sidered as people of the United States, we,v with the rest of the 
so-called free people, both of the free and of the slave States, 
amounting to some eighteen millions in number, are subjects of an 
oligarchy of the most odious possible description ; an oligarchy 
composed of about one hundred thousand owners of men.* There 
are perhaps three hundred thousand slaveholders in the country. 
Allowing for minors and women, probably not far from one-third of 
the number are voters ; and they administer our affairs. 

The quiet and steady process by which this rather material change 
in the character of the Federal Government was brought about, is 
not more remarkable than the result. Never was it better shown 
what great things union, perseverance, and impudence will do. 

It is often wisdom, in the prosecution of a scheme, to put forth a 
thoroughly outrageous proposal at the beginning. If it is disallow- 
ed, and cannot be carried, you fall back on something less exorbi- 
tant, which then has an air of moderation and compromise. If on 
the other hand you succeed to carry it, your boldness, and the facile 
surrender of the other party, make a capital 'prestige for the future. 

Four years had not passed after the Federal Constitution went 
into operation, before the Southern States tried the virtue of this 
policy, and tried it with an easy success, that must have amazed 
themselves at the time, and has not been lost upon their subsequent 

* Possibly tills estimate may be too small. But, on the other hand, it is made on 
an estimate of three liuiidred thousand as the whole number of slave-owners, which 
many consider to be too high by fifty thousand. The number of slave-holding 
voters oujlit by all means to be ascertained in the census of 1850. We shall then 
be able to reason more closely on the matter. 



10 THE SLAVE POWER. 

proceedings. On the 12th day of February, 1793, Congress enact- 
ed a law to carry into effect the provision of the Constitution res- 
pecting the delivering up of persons "held to labor in one State 
under the laws thereof, escaping into another." This law, which is 
still in force, provides that 

" When a person held to labor in any of the United States, or in either of the 
territories on the northwest, or south of the river Ohio, under the laws thereof, 
shall escape into any other of the said States or territory, the person to whom 
such labor or service may be due, his agent or attorney, is hereby empowered to 
seize or arrest such fugitive from labor, and to take him or her before any judge 
of the Circuit or District Courts of the United States, residing or being within 
the State, or before any magistrate of a county, city, or town corporate, wherein 
such seizure or arrest shall be made, and upon proof to the satisfaction of such 
judge or magistrate, either by oral testimony or affidavit, taken before and certi- 
fied by a magistrate of any such State or territory, that the person so seized or 
arrested doth, under the laws of the State or territory from which he or she fled, 
owe service or labor to the person claiming him or her, it shall be the duty of 
such judge or magistrate to give a certificate thereof to such claimant, his agent 
or attorney, which shall be sufficient warrant for removing the said fugitive from 
labor to the State or territory from which he or she fled." 

If my neighbor sues me for twenty-one dollars, I have a right to 
carry the question to a jury. The Constitution has declared that 
I am entitled to better protection against an unjust claim to that 
amount, than what might be found in the wisdom or integrity of 
any town or county magistrate. Not so with my liberty, which I 
care more for than I do for twenty-one dollars. Let a stranger ap- 
pear and say tha't he comes from a distant State, where man holds 
fellow-men in bondage, and let him persuade a stupid justice of the 
peace, or bribe a base one, to declare that I am the stranger's runa- 
way slave, and there is no lawful power in Massachusetts to save 
me from being conveyed away in handcuffs, and sold in Washington 
or New Orleans under the whip. Armed with a paltry justice's 
warrant, he shall take my wife from my side, or my infant from its 
cradle, and if T offer resistance, he is clothed with the whole power 
of the country to strike me down. Do not say that the thing would be 
prevented, the justice's warrant to the contrary notwithstanding. 
Very likely it would. But, if prevetited, it would have to be by 
club law, which is not the kind of dependence that we, the law- 
abiding people of Massachusetts, approve or like to resort to. Do 
not say that it is not likely any justice of the peace will be cheated 
into doing such a wrong. Justices of the peace are not all Solo- 
mons. There are Justice Shallows even in Massachusetts, and 
those, too, with whom a dark complexion makes a bad prima facie 
case. Do not say that justices are always above bribery. There 
was a story in 1843 that a representative sold his vote, and with it 
the administration of the Commonwealth for the year, for a suit of 
clothes ; and Governor Morton tossed him a justice's commission 
into the bargain. Do not say, that it is not likely such treatment 
of a white freeman will be attempted. There is the laiv ; and if 
they are not often so treated, it is no thanks to their own prudence 



LOUISIANA AND MISSOURI. 11 

or self-respect. There is the law, it sa)'s nothing of color ; and by 
it the Governor of Massachusetts is just as liable to be carried away 
and sold in the Southern shambles, as the blackest or least consid- 
erable citizen in the Commonwealth. The law may be, for white 
people, as helpless as it is insolent ; but it threatens and insults Har- 
rison Gray Otis as much as his boot-black ; George Putnam, of Rox- 
bury, as much as his respectable namesake, of a different complex- 
ion, in School street. Do not say that it is not likely black freemen 
will be often treated in this way. If the blacks had a fair chance 
to tell their own story in Pennsylvania, we should know, better than 
we now do, how true that statement would be. At all events, the 
free States owe it to their good faith to their own citizens, to their 
decent standing before the world, to their tolerable credit with pos- 
terity, to protect their citizens against being carried away as slaves, 
and to protect the liberty of the humblest citizen as effectually as 
of the most exalted. Did ever a decent government before decline 
that duty ? Is there any parallel to this monstrous law on the 
statute book of any civilized people ? Did any free government, 
civilized or not, ever before consent that its constituents should hold 
their liberty by such a tenure ? Did bloated arrogance ever before 
make such a claim on freemen ? Did freemen ever before give up 
their securities, and agree to a gross affront, with so easy a com- 
pliance ? 

Three years ago, Massachusetts took this thing in hand. But the 
remedy she applied was necessarily an altogether imperfect one. 
It does not touch the power to grant warrants, given by the Act of 
Congress to the Circuit and District Courts, and to town and county 
magistrates. She made it hazardous for her own justices to do this 
dirty work. But she could not take from them the power vested by 
the United States law ; and should any one of them, through igno- 
rance or for a sufficient consideration, lend himself to a kidnapper's 
job, his warrant would be valid against all the world. Such are the 
legal safeguards of liberty, in " Columbia, happy land." 



NO. IV. 

RE-INFORCED WITH FRENCH AND SPANISH AUXILIARIES. 

The free States were tractable ; they had proved themselves so 
in the measures which have been referred to. The slave States 
were ambitious. They became avaricious too. New articles of 
culture were introduced ; labor became more valuable ; the price of 
slaves rose ; and the power to hold on to them became of more con- 
sideration. In the convention, South Carolina and Georgia had in- 



12 THE SLAVE POWER. 

sisted that the slave trade should not be prohibited for twenty years, 
within which time they expected to be able to supply themselves 
sufficiently. They made good use of their reprieve, and got pretty 
well provided before it was out. But meanwhile avast interest was 
growing up, requiring an immensely increased supply for the south- 
ern country. Virginia was now to have her harvest. Her tobacco 
land was exhausted, but her human stock was fruitful. The foreign 
competition being destroyed by the prohibition of the African trade, 
the domestic market prospered. Virginia became the Guinea coast 
of America. 

Rice, introduced into South Carolina in 1693, was the first im- 
portant staple of the extreme south ; the average annual quantity 
exported from that State in the last years before the Revolution was 
one hundred and forty-two thousand barrels. Indigo was introdu- 
ced from the West Indies in 1741 or 1742, and became the most 
profitable article of cultivation, the annual export before the Revo- 
lution amounting to more than a milUon of pounds. At the end of 
about forty years more, some experiments were made in the culture 
of cotton, little suspected then of being destined to be for so long a 
time the preponderating element in American politics. In 1783, 
just after the peace, eight bales of cotton were seized by the custom 
house at Liverpool, it not being believed that America could raise 
so large a quantity of that product. In 1789, the cotton crop of 
the United States (that is, substantially, of South Carolina and 
Georgia) amounted to a million of pounds ; in 1801, to nearly fifty 
millions; in 1811 (Louisiana having been purchased meanwhile), 
to eighty millions ; in 1821, to a hundred and eighty millions ; in 
1831, to three hundred and eighty-five millions; and at the present 
time it is not less than a thousand millions, being considerably more 
than that of all the rest of the world together. The inferior cotton 
of the south-west sold in 1818 at thirty-five and forty cents a 
pound. Slaves, the makers of cotton, of course rose in value with 
what they raised. The aggregate value of slaves in the southern 
States was estimated by Mr. Gerry in 1790 at ten millions of dol- 
lars.* Within a few years Mr. Clay has estimated it at twelve 
hundred millions. Justice and liberty, it was clear, would have to 
maintain themselves aarainst fearful odds. The South Carolina 
coinage of blood to drachmas was a magnificent reality. The Vir- 
ginian philanthropy of abolition, so vivid in 1787, had become as a 
dream when one awaketh. 

Such an interest coveted more securities than the Constitution 
gave it. Such an element of political power was tempting to en- 
terprise, and asked for more practical expansion. Two votes in the 
Federal Senate for a new Slave State, three freemen's votes, in 
constituting the Federal House of Representatives, for every five 
human cattle, these were mighty means for consolidating the slave 

* Elliot's Debates, vol. iv. part 2, p. 214. 



ADMISSION OF LOUISIANA. 13 

despotism, and subordinating to it the future policy and patronage 
of the country. 

In the session of Congress of 1810-1811, a measure of the bold- 
est character was resorted to. A bill was introduced " to enable the 
people of the territory of Orleans to form a Constitution and State 
Government, and for the admission of such State into the Union." 
The period was one of extreme and passionate agitation. The 
public mind had been intensely plied with ultra theories, and with 
sympathy in the amazing struggles of Europe. It was a time little 
favorable to calm adherence to principles, and consideration of re- 
mote consequences. The Slave States moved in solid column, and 
dictated to a large party at the North. The Constitution provided 
that '•' new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union." 
In vain was it urged, that, from the language of the rest of the 
section^ it was unavoidable to understand this provision as applica- 
ble only to territory within the old States, the original parties to the 
Constitution. In vain was it insisted that, while other powers had 
been withheld from Congress with so much jealousy by the thirteen 
States, parties to the compact, it never could have been their inten- 
tion to invest that legislature with a prerogative so enormous as that 
of admitting other partners at will, to introduce new elements, in- 
terests, and responsibilities, and change the proportions of power 
among the old ones. Mr. Jefferson, not personally over-scrupulous, 
but affected by his responsibility before the world, avowed that 
there was no power in the Constitution to carry out his measure, and 
desired that, for its ratification, an amendment might be obtained, 
through the forms constitutionally prescribed.* But the compunc- 
tions of trickery and the resistance of patriotism were alike to no 
purpose. With the help of its duped or designing allies at the 
North, Slavery was in power, and, as it had its fervid will, it had 
its easy way. The French and Spanish colony of Louisiana, with 
its breeds of all tongues and all mixtures, became a member of the 
Federal Union, with seats for its slave representation in actuality, 
and the prospect of an indefinite enlargement of it in future ; and 
a principle was established, equally ready for application, as future 
circumstances might permit, to Texas, Guatemala, Algiers, or Mo- 
zambique. And this under the forms of the Constitution ! Imag- 
ine the statesmen and people of Massachusetts in 1787, descendants 
of English Commonwealth's-men, fresh from the fields of cis-altan- 
tic freedom, to which they had sent one soldier in every three, im- 

* " When I consider that the limits of the United States are precisely fixed by the 
treaty of 1783, and that the Constitution expressly declares itself to be made for the 
United States^ I cannot help believing the intention was not to permit CftTigress to 
admit into the Union new States which should be formed out of the territory, for 
whicli, and under whose authority alone, they were then acting. I do not believe 
it was meant that they might receive England, Ireland, Holland, &c into it." 
Letter to Wilson C. J^icholas, Sept. 7th 1803. " Memoir, Correspondence, and 
Miscellanies." Vol. iv. p. 3. See also letter to Levi Lincoln of August 1830. 
Ibid. p. 1. 



14 THE SLAVE POWER. 

agine them agreeing to an instrument understood to include any 
power to bring a rout of vagabond West-Indian Frenchmen and 
Spaniards, slaves and all, into their grave confederacy. 

Ten years later drew the curtain for act the second. Things 
were ripe in 1820 for another push of the ever prompt and watch- 
ful Slave Power. Mr. Monroe's administration was popular. The 
Federal party had broken down at the close of the war. The re- 
turning prosperity of the country had turned the mind of the in- 
ventive and quiet North to industry and gain, while the political 
ambition of tiie South never lost sight of its purposes. Concilia- 
tion was the order of day, and concihation, with the South, always 
means complete sacrifice on the other part. The ordinance of 
1787, passed when almost all the States were honest, and excluding 
slavery forever from the region between the Ohio and the Missis- 
sippi, had established the dominion of freedom in the new States 
down to the thirty-seventh degree of North latitude. But the pur- 
chase of Louisiana was to be put to yet better use. The patriotic 
party in Congress stood for the safe-guards of the federal compact, 
and insisted that Missouri should not be admitted as a partner in the 
Union with a constitution which, by recognizing slavery, should 
break down the compromises of the original partnership. Consid- 
ering the tone of the times, and the comparative union and disci- 
pline of the two parties, the battle for liberty was not ill fought. 
The issue was doubtful for a vvhile, and the right did all but prevail. 
But Mr. Clay put in with one of his compromises. Slavery en- 
trenched itself anew in the West, up to forty degrees and a half, a 
little higher than the latitude of Philadelphia. Two more votes 
were secured for slavery in the Senate, and a further representation 
in the other House, with a prospect of indefinite extension in future, 
as long as the vast tracts of the French purchase should hold out to 
be parcelled and peopled. New England votes — yes, three votes 
from Massachusetts — .helped to do the deed. Pertinently, albeit 
impertinently, did John Randolph say in the debate on that occa- 
sion, " we do not govern them [the people of the North,] by our 
black slaves, but by their own white slaves. We know what we 
are doing. We have conquered you once, and we can, and we 
will, conquer you again. Ay, Sir, we will drive you to the wall, 
and when we have you there once more, we mean to keep you there, 
and nail you down, like base money." 

When one reads in the Convention for forming the Constitution, 
and in the State Conventions for its adoption, how undoubting was 
the expectation, that under the effect ©f its principles and provisions 
slavery was soon to die, and how little it was dreamed by the people 
of that day that it was ever to be an active element in the politics 
of the country, it tasks the imagination to conceive how they would 
have looked, had they been told that in the first sixty years it should 
have so possessed itself of the Government, that during only twelve 
years a President from the free States had been tolerated, that a 



PLOT FOR ANNEXING TEXAS. 15 

vast majority of the high offices in all departments, including nearly 
three-fourths of the offices in the army and navy, had been held by , 
slave-owners, that slavery had been the great dictator of its policy, 'j 
foreign and domestic, and that at this moment none but slaveholders 
were ministers of the nation at any foreign court, though there are 
more than three millions of voters in the country, and only one 
hundred thousand of them hold slaves. 



NO. V. 



PLOT FOR ANOTHER ALLIANCE. 



Texas, as now claimed, with the Rio Grande for its boundary 
from the mouth to the source, according to the map published by 
order of Congress, embraces an area of about three hundred and 
fifty thousand square miles, a territory more than half as large 
again as that of France, and enough to divide into forty-five States, 
each of the size of Massachusetts. What will be the boundary 
claimed next week, we can better tell when next week comes. 

The story of the nefarious proceedings of the Slave Power to 
strengthen itself with this immense acquisition is all recent, but 
events have trodden on each other's heels so close thai the later 
have kept driving the earlier out of mind. It is therefore worth 
while very briefly to recapitulate some of the principal. 

In 18-21, the year of the erection of Missouri into a State, Mex- 
ico became independent of Old Spain. In 1824, in the honest 
spirit of her new liberty, she decreed a prospective manumission of 
slaves. This was followed in 1829 by an immediate and complete 
emancipation, a measure which was shortly afterwards ratified for 
iiself by the Province of Texas. 

The vigilant South was moved. A people of freemen on the 
South- Western border ; what an example ! A sparsely peopled 
and productive country ; what a prize for the lacklands ! what a 
market for human chattels ! what an ally for the Slave Power ! 

The fact was no sooner known than Mr. Benton, under the sig- 
natures of " Americanus " and "La Salle," broached the scheme of 
annexation in the Missouri newspapers, and his essays were briskly 
circulated through the Slave States. He urged, 1. The importance 
of providing new securities for the slave interest in the national 
councils ; 2. The necessity of opening a new field for slave cultiva- 
tion, and a new market for men ; 3. The insecurity and deprecia- 
tion of slave property incident to the contiguity of a free republic. 



1^ THE SLAVE POWER. 

President Jackson immediately instructed Mr. Poinsett, then min- 
ister in Mexico, to make proposals for the purchase of Texas, author- 
ising him to bid for it as high as f 4,000,000 or even $5,000,000 ; 
"so strong," wrote Mr. Van Buren, Secretary of State, "is the 
President's conviction of the importance and even necessity " of the 
acquisition. Mexico was now reduced to great straits in the war for 
the maintenance of her independence, and the Envoy was accord- 
ingly informed that " the present moment is regarded by us as an 
auspicious one to secure the cession." She was plied at t!ie same 
time with menaces for delay in settling some pecuniary claims, and 
for alleged wrong to some Americans who had been ordered from 
one of the ports into the interior on an alarm of a Spanish invasion ; 
and she was informed that no treaty of commerce would ever be 
made without a stipulation on her part for the restoration of fugitive 
slaves. She however declined the bribe, and withstood the threats. 
Mr. Anthony Butler succeeded Mr. Poinsett in the mission, and from 
time so time, through six years, renewed the attempt at a bargain, 
but with no better success than his predecessor. 

Such a process was too slow, without being at all certain either. 
A surer card was playing all the while. Early in 1830, it was an- 
nounced in Arkansas "on authority entitled to the highest credit 
[hinted to be that of the American embassy], that no hopes need be 
entertained of acquiring Texas, until some other party, more friendly 
to the United States, shall predominate in Mexico, and perhaps not 
till Texas shall throw off the yoke of allegiance to that government, 
which they will do no doubt [that is, if we of the South-West can 
make them] as soon as they shall have a reasonable pretext for so 
doing. At present they are probably subject to as few impositions 
and exactions as any people under the sun." In the same year, 
General Samuel Houston, formerly Governor of Tennessee, and an 
intimate friend of President Jackson, betook himself to Texas, and 
a Louisiana paper gave out that he "had gone to raise a revolu- 
tion," and that we might expect " shortly to hear of his raising his 
flag." The conspiracy of the Slave Power against an unoffending 
neighbor, entitled to sympathy by every claim except that she was 
consistent in her profession of attachment to free principles, went 
busily to work. Strong facts have been produced to prove that the 
strings were pulled by President Jackson and his club at Washing- 
ton. But that question is not material to the present purpose. 
Slavery was the conspirator, whether Jackson and his intimates 
were more or less its agents. So confident was the General of get- 
ting the country one way or another, that, according to Mr. Hunt, 
the Texan envoy, " he tendered the office of Governor of the Ter- 
ritory to the late Governor H. G. Burton, of North Carolina, to be 
entered upon as soon as the treaty of cession should be completed."* 

To get up an insurrection in Texas to serve as a pretence for inva- 

* Letter to Mr. Forsyth, of Sept. 12th, 1837. 



PLOT FOR ANNEXING TEXAS. 



17 



sion, did not seem a very easy thing ; but generally where there is an 
intense will, there may sooner or later be found a vyay. Discontent, 
for any or for no cause, was fomented among the American colo- 
nists, who, as early as 1821, had been brought in by S. T. Austin, 
under a contract with the government. Butler, the United States 
Charge d'AfFaires at Mexico, was conspicuously busy in exciting a 
disturbance. Among the causes of complaint at last produced were, 
the union of Coahuila with Texas as one State ; the establishment 

• of Custom Houses, at the expiration of the privilege granted to the 
colonists of exemption from the payment of duties for two years ; 
the establishment o( centralism in the place of the Federal Constiiu- 

ttion in 1824, — on all accounts a judicious measure under the cir- 
cumstances, and one fairly called for and adopted by a majority of 
the nation ; the failure " to secure, on a firm basis, the right of trial 
by jury," — a departure from its own system of jurisprudence, which 
it does not appear that the government had ever authorised the 
Texan colonists to expect, but which, in point of fact, it had suffered 
them to enjoy ; a harsh course of administration on the part of the 
military commandants ; and a disallowance of the exercise of any 
but the Catholic religion, — a rule to which the colonists had ex- 
pressly consented as the absolute condition of their receiving their 
lands, but which had in fact not been enforced. 

In December, 1835, a declaration of independence was adopted 
at La Bahia or Goliad, by about ninety persons, not pretending to 
act in any representative capacity, and all of them Americans, to 
judge from their names, except two. In March, 1836, by their 
recommendation a convention of delegates met at a place called 
Washington, and issued a more formal declaration, to which were 
subscribed forty-four names, of which three or four appear to have 
been those of Mexicans. " For a portion of the force [to fight 
Mexico] we must look," wrote Houston, " to the United States. It 
cannot come too soon.", Of course he did not look in vain, nor 
were the Campbells long in coming. In defiance of the faith of 
treaties, without interruption from the government, military expedi- 
tions were openly prepared, and proceeded by land and water from 
the United States, the means being collected at public meetings as- 
sembled by advertisements in the newspapers. In New Orleans 
and other Southern cities, parties with flags, drums and fifes, beat 
up for recruits about the streets. Troops under General Gaines 
were ordered by the President over the Texan frontier, to keep 
watch upon the Indians. In April was fought the battle of San Ja- 
cinto, in which, it has been asserted on good authority, only fifty 
men out of the eight hundred of the victorious party had ever had 
any thing to do with Texas till they went thither in martial array.* 
Fifteen-sixteenths were freebooters, fresh from the United States. 
Texas was wrested from Mexico. So far there was an open field 

* North American Review, vol. xliii. p. 254. 



18 THE SLAVE POWER. 

for further operations. Our government lost no time in acknowl- 
edging her independence, A Resolution to that effect, presently 
introduced by Mr. Walker, Senator from Mississippi, was passed in 
March, 1837. 



NO. VI. 



NO OUTSIDE ROW TO THE COTTON FIELD. 



After the defeat of Santa Anna, the parties concerned were 
naturally impatient for the next move. Texas, with General Hous- 
ton of Tennessee and General Hamilton of South Carolina in 
charge of its affairs, applied for admission into the Federal Union 
in the summer of 1837. But the fruit was not yet ripe. The 
Northern Democrats were not yet whipped in. Mr. Van Buren 
saw that the thing would not do, for never did fingers feel the 
pulse of the nation with so delicate a touch as did those of the 
Northern man with Southern principles. A war with Mexico too 
would cost money, while the finances were in a state of utter disor- 
der, and specie payments had been suspended by the banks. 
Accordingly, Mr. Forsyth replied to the Texan envoy, in an edify- 
ing strain of public morality, that " the question of the annexation 
of a foreign independent State to the United States had never be- 
fore been presented to this government," and that " powerful and 
weighty as were the inducements mentioned by General Hunt, 
they were light when opposed in the scale of reason to treaty 
obligations, and respect for that integrity of character by which the 
United States had sought to distinguish themselves." 

The saying of a member of Congress that President Tyler's was 
^parenthetical administration, which might be taken away without 
injury to the sense, was as indefensible as it was witty. On the 
contrary, it was the distinction of that foul administration to stain 
the American annals with the blackest blot they ever bore. After 
the retirement of Mr. Webster in March 1843, and the death of 
Mr. Legare, Mr. Upshur of Virginia was placed in July in the De- 
partment of State. The acquisition of Texas had been one of Mr. 
Upshur's long-cherished dreams. As far back as 1829, he had said 
in the Virginia Convention, " The value of slaves, as an article of 
property, depends much on the state of the market abroad. If it 
should be our lot to acquire the country of Texas, their price will 
rise." He was not known to the nation, except as having been 
selected by Duff Green to be the editor of the Southern Review, 
had he succeeded in reviving that work to be the champion of the 
slaveholders' policy. 



PLOT FOR ANNEXING TEXAS. 19 

Mr. Upshur was killed by the Peace-Maker in the following 
February, and it then first became known how the seven months of 
his administration had been occupied. With his recreant master 
he had been busy from the first moment in concocting a plot, the 
danger of which the honest part of the nation fondly flattered 
themselves had passed by ; and in profound secresy they had nursed 
it almost to maturity. Professing to have been informed by a pri- 
vate letter from a citizen of Maryland, then in London, — which 
letter, when afterwards called for by the Senate from Mr. Secretary 
Calhoun, was not to be found, — that a person, "deputed by the 
abolitionists of Texas to negotiate with the British government, 
had seen Lord Aberdeen and submitted his projet for the abolition 
of slavery in Texas," and that " Lord Aberdeen had agreed that 
the British government would guaranty the payment of the in- 
terest " on a loan for this purpose, " upon condition that the Texan 
government would abolish slavery," he wrote (August 8th) to the 
American Charge in Texas, re-opening the question of annexation 
which had apparently been closed by Mr. Van Buren six years be- 
fore. He represented that '•' the establishment, in the very midst 
of our slaveholding States, of an independent government, for- 
bidding the existence of slavery, and by a people born, for the 
most part, among us, reared in our habits, and speaking our lan- 
guage, could not fail to produce the most unhappy effects upon 
both parties. If Texas were in that condition, her territory would 
afford a ready refuge for the fugitive slaves of Louisiana and 
Arkansas, and would hold out to them an encouragement to run 
away." And in civil diplomatic phrase, he threatened the two- 
penny new nation with war, should it persist in the purpose to have 
all its people free. " It is not to be supposed that a people con- 
scious of the power to protect themselves would long submit to 
such a state of things. They would assume the right to reclaim 
their slaves by force, and for that purpose would invade the terri- 
tory of Texas." 

It was in vain that Lord Aberdeen, when the subject was pre- 
sented to him by Mr. Everett, disavowed in the most explicit terms 
all participation by the British government in any such transaction 
as had been charged. In October, Mr. Upshur formally proposed 
to Mr. Van Zandt, the Texan Charge at Vi^ashington, to obtain 
powers from his government to negotiate a treaty of annexation. 
The Texan people meanwhile had bolted a little from the track. 
They were irritated by the rejection of their former proposals, and, 
encouraged by the long supineness of Mexico, they had begun to 
think they might do as well to set up for themselves. As late as 
January, 1844, Mr. Upshur had still on hand the work of suppli- 
cating and bullying them into a consent to be annexed. 

He wheedled them hard, in his letter to Mr. Murphy of the 16th 
of that month, whining to them of the " sympathies of the people 
of this country," by whom, at the time of the rejection of the 
2* 



20 THE SLAVE POWER. 

previous proposal, " the question was not understood." He 
threatened them harder ; " The first measure of the new emigrants, 
as soon as they shall have sufficient strength, will be to destroy 
that great domestic institution upon which so much of the pros- 
perity of our country depends. * * * * jf Texas should 
not be attached to the United States, she cannot maintain that in- 
stitution ten years, and probably not half that time. You will 
readily perceive that, with such causes as these at work, a long 
continuance of peace between that country and the United States 
is absolutely impossible. War is inevitable." [Yes, we freemen 
of the North should have to carry on a war, as we are now doing 
under other circumstances, to force slavery on a foreign country]. 
And he assured them, — with what degree of truth the event of 
that session shows, — " measures have been taken to ascertain the 
opinions and views of Senators upon the subject, and it is found 
that a clear constitutional majority of two-thirds are in favor of the 
measure." 

Under such appliances, a treaty of annexation was effected, 
and was ready to be signed at the time of the disaster of the 
Princeton. 

Mr. Calhoun succeeded to the Department of State after a short 
interval, and, in communicating to Mexico the purpose of Mr. Tyler 
and his cabinet, took the perfidious ground that " the step was 
forced on the government of the United States, in self-defence, in 
consequence of the policy adopted by Great Britain in reference to 
the abolition of slavery in Texas ; "* while to the British Envoy he 
wrote,! that " it was made necessary in order to preserve domestic 
institutions placed under the guaranty of the respective Constitu- 
tions of the two countries interested, and deemed essential to their 
safety and prosperity." This is the Secretary, who, after the 
sufficient experience the country had had of him, had be^n con- 
firmed in his place by a unanimous vote of the Senate. 

President Tyler, in his impatience, had ordered troops to the 
frontier of Texas, and a naval force to its coast, eleven days before 
the treaty was submitted to the Senate. But that body was restiflf, 
and rejected it, after weeks of vehement debate, on the 8th day 
of June. Patriotism, justice, and humanity drew one more easy 
breath. 

* Letter of April 19th, 1844, to Benjamin E. Green, Charg6. 
t Letter of April 27th. 



TEXAS ANNEXED. 21 

NO. VII. 

FORTIFIED WITH A QUARTER PART OF MEXICO. 



The prohibition in the Federal Constitution of the making of any 
treaty without the consent of two-thirds of the Senate, was a wise, 
just, and necessary provision of that instrument, for the protection 
of minorities of the States, represented as States in that body. 
Without it the Constitution could never have been adopted. The 
States, still independent communities, would never have given up 
such a power over their foreign relations to a bare majority of the 
States, still less of the people, of the confederation. 

At the close of the session of 1843-4, the scheme for the an- 
nexation of Texas by means of the treaty-making power had been 
signally defeated. Scarcely any one yet had dreamed that it would 
be ever revived in any other form. Scarcely had it entered the 
wildest imagination, that any attempt w^ould be made to put Massa- 
chusetts and New York under the government of Texas, by a pro- 
cess allowing them less of a voice, and less security, than they en- 
joyed in the negotiation of an arrangement for some trumpery 
commercial privilege. 

But Mr. Tyler, and Mr. Calhoun, and the usurpers they repre- 
sented, were not to be so put off. In the interval before the next 
meeting of Congress, they had insisted to the Texans that the 
measure was still pending, as if the Senate had not solemnly put 
an end to it by their action of June 8th ; they had kept them in 
heart by military assistance, without any authority of law ; and in 
his message at the opening of Congress in December, 1844, the 
President announced that the question " has been submitted to the 
ordeal of public sentiment. A controlling majority of the people, 
and a large majority of the States, have declared in favor of imme- 
diate annexation. Instructions have thus come up to both branches 
of Congress, from their respective constituents, in terms the most 
emphatic. It is the will of both the people and the States that 
Texas shall be annexed to the Union promptly and immediately." 
And he adds, " The two governments having already agreed through 
their respective organs, on the terms of annexation, ['/ am the 
State,^ for the Senate, one of the powers necessary to any agree- 
ment by the Constitution, had disagreed], I would recommend their 
adoption by Congress, in the form of a joint Resolution or Act, to 
be perfected and made binding on the two countries, when adopted, 
in like manner, by the government of Texas." 

The President's declaration of the will of the people respecting 
the annexation of Texas was his inference from the result of the 



22 THE SLAVE POWER. 

then recent Presidential election. The democratic convention, 
which, a week before the rejection of the treaty by the Senate, had 
nominated Mr. Polk, had at the same time adopted some dozen 
resolutions, expressing the sense of its members on as many matters 
of public policy. One of them was as follows : " that our title to 
the whole of Oregon is clear and unquestionable ; that no portion 
of the same ought to be ceded to England or any other power, and 
that the re-occupation of Oregon and the re-annexation of Texas at 
the earliest practicable period, are great American measures, which 
this Convention recommend to the cordial support of the Democ- 
racy of the Union." Mr. Polk was chosen (having sixteen out of 
twenty-six States in his favor), and the question of annexation, said 
Mr. Tyler and his Secretary, was thereby decided at the polls. 
Bank, Tariff, Internal Improvements, Sub-Treasury, Native Ameri- 
canism, Distribution of the Public Lands, Oregon, and other issues 
raised in the Resolutions of the nominating Convention, were to go 
for nothing, — for nothing, the electioneering frauds in Louisiana, 
Pennsylvania and New York, — for nothing, the sixteen thousand 
Liberty Party votes in the latter State, which, though they gave Mr. 
Polk the election, were hardly meant to be for annexation. Texas, 
and Texas only, had been in the people's mind ; their votes had in- 
structed Congress • and annex Texas it must, hon gre, mal gre that 
Constitution, which the President and Congress were sworn to sup- 
port. 

So annex they did, as far as in them lay, though with no more 
constitutional right or power to do it, than any other two hundred 
and eighty men in the country, who should get together some fine 
morning, and pass a similar vote for the annexation of China with 
the Celestial Emperor's consent. On the 26th of January, 1845, 
after three or four weeks' debate, the House of Representatives, by 
a vote of 120 to 98, resolved on its part, " that Congress doth con- 
sent that the Territory properly included within, and rightfully be- 
longing to, the Republic of Texas, may be erected into a new State, 
to be called the State of Texas, with a republican form of govern- 
ment, to be adopted by the people of said Republic, by deputies in 
Convention assembled, with the consent of the existing government, 
in order that the same may be admitted as one of the States of this 
Union." 

The Senate held out better, and for five weeks of sharp anxiety 
there was hope that it would not betray its great trust. At length 
it was known that the combined forces of intrigue and corruption, 
party management. General Jackson's thunder, and executive patron- 
age, had secured about enough votes from the North to do the in- 
iquitous work of the Slave Power, and that the issue hung only on 
the will of a Democratic Senator from the South, whose conscience, 
notwithstanding the biasses of his position and his party creed, re- 
fused as yet to be silenced. A wretched artifice obtained the vote 
of the recusant Senator, and without a day's delay a messenger was 



ACTION OF FREE STATES ON ANNEXATION. 23 

sped to Texas to invite her to enter the breach that bad men had 
made through the constitutional defences of the people of the Uni- 
ted States. 

All the rest the usurpers aflfected to regard as only form, and pro- 
ceeded to force through the formal measures with violent and inde- 
cent haste. Congress met, in 1845, on the first day of December. 
On the 10th, immediately on the appointment of the committees, 
the portion of the President's message relating to the admission of 
Texas was referred to the Committee on the Territories. The next 
day, that Committee reported to the House a Resolution, " that the 
State of Texas shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, of 
the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an 
equal footing with the original States, in all respects whatever." It 
was made the Order of the Day for the fifth day after, at which 
time the Previous Question was immediately called for and sustain- 
ed, the Constitution of the new State having been placed in the 
members' hands only the day before. In an hour and forty minutes 
the thing was over in the House, the insult to the Constitution being 
scarcely aggravated by a second Resolution, giving to Texas two 
Representatives till the census of 1850, without any thing to show 
that its population is as great as that of Delaware, which has but 
one.* Of all days in the three hundred and sixty-five, the final act 
passed the Senate on the 22d day of December, while at Plymouth 
they were celebrating the landing of the pioneers of freedom in 
this Western World. Wonderful was it, that the hundred and one 
glorious ghosts of 1620, on that ninth quarter-century of the ripen- 
ing of the seed they sowed, did not " squeak and gibber" in the 
merry hall, to the drowning of speech and joke, of horn and 
cymbal. 



NO. VIII. 

OBJECTIONS TO ANNEXATION IN THE FREE STATES.— 
COUNTER-CURRENT IN MASSACHUSETTS. 

" The measure of annexation is calculated an-d designed, by the open declarations 
of its friends, to uphold the interests of slavery, extend its influence, and secure its 
permanent duration." 

This is quoted from Mr. Calhoun. The declaration, and some 
of its bearings, were early understood in some of the free States, 
and they took their measures accordingly. In 1838 some of the 
Legislatures expressed the sense of their constituents. That ot 
Rhode Island passed Resolutions, denying the competency of any 

* In the autumn of 1844, at the election of President in Texas, 12,752 votes 
were cast. The smallest number of votes, at the same time, in any Congressional 
District in Massachusetts, was 10,120, and those Districts send but one member. 
The next smallest number was 12,113. 



24. THE SLAVE POW±.xv. 

branch of the governmerrt to effect the annexation, or that it could 
be accomplished " without the formation of a new compact of 
Union." The General Assembly of Ohio unanimously declared, 
" that Congress has no power conferred on it by the Constitution of 
the United States to consent to such annexation ; and that the peo- 
ple of Ohio cannot be bound by any such covenant, league, or ar- 
rangement, made between Congress and any foreign state or nation." 
The General Court of Massachusetts resolved, also unanimously, 
" We do, in the name of the people of Massachusetts, earnestly and 
solemnly protest against the annexion of Texas to this Union, and 
declare that no act done, or compact made, for such purpose, by 
the government of the United States, will be binding on the States 
or the people." 

When the villany was started again in 1843, and till its consum- 
mation, the protests of the same States were renewed, with con-' 
tinued unanimity, with frequent repetition, and, if possible, in still 
more emphatic language. No party within their borders could take 
the opposite ground without suicide. Connecticut and New Jersey 
added their wholesome testimony. New Hampshire and Maine 
were still in their slavish democratic bonds. Pennsylvania is brutish^ 
and did nothing, but like the strong ass Issachar crouched down be- 
neath her burdens, and bowed her shoulder to bear, and became a 
servant unto tribute. New York did nothing. Poor soulless giant, 
her honorable history is yet to begin. From her colonial times, 
when, patching up a dastardly truce, she helped the French and In- 
dians down from the Berkshire hills against the shield which brave 
Massachusetts held over the New England settlements, through the 
time of her traitors of the Revolutionary age, down to the time of 
her Butlers and her Marcys, her Van Burens and Hoyts, poltroonery 
and corruption have with her ruled the hour. Nature has her freaks, 
and in one of them she gave a great man, John Jay, to New York. 
Hamilton was a waif from the West Indies on her spirit-barren 
strand, and Rufus King from Massachusetts. No doubt, among her 
millions, she has many wise and good, but the day when they begin 
to impress any fit influence of theirs upon her counsels, will open a 
new chapter in the annals of New York. 

Massachusetts was the back-bone of the opposition. Standing 
erect, and (as it seemed) unenfeebled by division, just and patriotic 
men every where were hoping that the contagion of her stern ex- 
ample would yet save the land from bitter shame. While the Joint 
Resolutions were pending, a great convention of her citizens met in 
Faneuil Hall, to utter her warning in yet another form. The call 
was signed by men of all parties, — the men accustomed to repre- 
sent, on important occasions, the intelligence, the property, the 
patriotism, and weight of character of the Commonwealth, — though 
already was remarked an absence of a small number of names, to 
which subsequent developments gave a significance. A vigorous 
Address, worthy of the place of deliberation, and of the old times 



ACTION OF FREE STATES ON ANNEXATION. 25 

it had kindred with, was sent forth to the people by a unani- 
mous assent. Massachusetts seemed all nerve and heart. She gave 
another ringing response from her Legislative halls. It was more 
than four months after Mr. Polk's election, and four weeks after the 
passage of the Joint Resolution through Congress, that, by solemn 
Resolution, with only twenty-seven dissenting voices, in her legislature 
of more than three hundred members, she repeated her " refusal to 
acknowledge the Act of the government of the United States, au- 
thorizing the admission of Texas, as a legal act." 

Through all its stages, the measure had been carried with a high 
hand. But it is bad generalship to rely on hard knocks alone. Mr. 
Walker, one of the Coryphaei of the scheme, undertook to coax 
some support for it among the ill-affected in the free States. In 
1844, at the close of his widely-circulated letter of January 8th [all 
mischief now-a-days shelters itself under that date], after showing 
to the slave holders how annexation would increase their power,* 
and raise the value of their property, and giving to various other 
interests their portion in due season, he turned to the friends of 
protection for domestic industry in the east, and told them with 
due emphasis of italics and capitals, " Let it be known, and pro- 
claimed as a certain truth, and as a result which can never hereafter 
be changed or recalled, that, upon the refusal of re-annexation, now 
and in all time to come, the tariff, as a practical measure, 
FALLS WHOLLY AND FOR EVER, and WO shall thereafter be compelled 
to resort to direct taxes to support the government." Be not in- 
credulous, gentle reader. This is the self-same Mr. Robert J. 
Walker, now Secretary of the Treasury, whose bill for the repeal 
of the Tariff passed the House of Representatives on the third day 
of July instant, and in the week of this present writing will be car- 
ried through the Senate by those two Texan votes, which he was 
so eloquent with the cotton manufacturers to give him, in order that 
the Tariff might be saved. 

What effect this friendly suggestion had in winning over opposi- 
tion, is not to be known. Motives are by no means always evident, 
even to the party moved. Certain it is, however, that Mr. Walker 
did not reckon altogether without his host, when he considered that 
there are those in the Whig party, with whom the Tariff is the car- 
dinal point of the party creed ; and, if any expected to buy the for- 
bearance of the South by surrendering every high principle of public 
action, and writing themselves recreant to what had made them 
objects of confidence as public men, and if, after all, they found 
themselves deceived, it was no fault of Mr. Walker's that they mis- 
calculated and were disappointed after all the experience of the 
past. And certain it is, at all events, that, in the summer and au- 
tumn of L845, an unexpected state of sentiment was manifested, 
even in some high quarters in Massachusetts. The people of the 
Commonwealth felt more injured and more determined. The lead- 
ers in a part of it winced. 



26 THE SLAVE POWER. 

For the first time, in the following winter, there was defection in 
a portion of the Whig party in the General Court. Mr. Wilson, 
the steadfast and true-hearted member from Natick in the House, 
introduced a Resolve covering more ground than that of any previ- 
ous legislative action, and frankly expressive of the sense of the 
towns of Massachusetts, respecting the sterner attitude which the 
abuses of the times required. It passed the House in the following 
words, "That Massachusetts distinctly and solemnly announces to 
the country her uncompromising opposition to the further extension 
of American slavery ; that she herelDy deliberately declares her ear- 
nest and unalterable purpose to use every lawful and Constitutional 
measure for its overthrow and entire extinction ; and she hereby 
pledges her cordial co-operation to the friends of civil liberty 
throughout the Union, in every just and practical measure that shall 
tend to free our country from the dominion, curse and shame of 
slavery, and make her great and glorious among the nations." 

The vote for the Resolve was 147 to 52. There was about jhe 
latter number of Democrats in the House. In the Senate, the re- 
port of the Joint Committee, not meeting the issue, but represent- 
ing that the resistance of Massachusetts had already been suffi- 
ciently protracted, was accepted, by a vote of 20 to 16. 



NO. IX. 

CONSEQUENCES OF COTTOJVIJVG TO IT IN THE NORTH. 

A RECENT number of the New Orleans " Tropic "contains the 
following remark ; — 

" After Congress had been in session some time, Mr. Polk ordered the army to 
march to the Rio Grande. * * * * * Now there must be some good reason 
for this extraordinary movement on his part, that should be known to the people. 
It must not be forgotten that Mr. Polk claimed the JVueces as the boundary line 
bettveen Mexico and Texas ivhen he came into power, and on the banks of that river 
the army of occupation was stayed a long time. Now it is important to the j>eo- 
ple of the United States for Mr. Polk to give his reasons for changing his mind." 

Certainly the advance of the troops from the Nueces to the Rio 
Grande was rather a bold step on Mr. Polk's part. Helping him- 
self to Texas with any boundaries was bad enough. But the coun- 
try between those rivers had nothing to do with Texas. It no more 
belonged to that province than did the capital city of Mexico. It 
lies within the boundaries (passing from North to South) of New 
Mexico, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas. So every delinea- 
tion, except the fraudulent Congressional map, represents -it. So Mr. 
Polk's own party friends understood it, till enlightened by the suc- 
cess of their own effrontery, and the truckling of their opponents. 



NEW BOUNDARY OF TEXAS. 27 

The proposal of General Jackson's government, said Mr. Benton,* 
" extended to no part of the river, or even of the valley, of the 
Rio del Norte. Not a drop of the water of that river, — not an 
inch of the soil of its valley, — did he propose to e'isrupt frona its 
old possessor, and to incorporate into our Union. ***** They 
meditated no such crime or folly as that of adding the left bank of 
the Rio del Norte, from head to mouth, to our Union." " The trea- 
ty," he said again, " in all that relates to the boundary of the Rio 
Grande, is an act of unparalleled outrage on Mexico." 

We guess we may be able to throw some light, on the subject of 
the '•' Tropic's" curiosity. Down to late in the autumn of 1845, 
the feeling of the masses of the Free States seemed to be growing 
constantly more intense in respect to the tremendous outrage of the 
Slave Power, that was in progress. Down to this time, Massachu- 
setts had appeared entirely in earnest, and the greater part of her 
New England sisters had ranged themselves by her side. Even 
slave-ridden 'New Hampshire was picking herself up from the mud, 
and scraping herself clean from the filth of her ancient alliance ; while 
Ohio, the hero of the West, was going on, as she will yet go on, in 
a way worthy of her clear head and brave heart. Bold and arrogant 
as the usurpers were, it was still prudent to keep some measures. 

While things stood thus, there came surprising news from Boston 
to Washington, understood to betoken that " the head " of opposi- 
tion " was sick, and the heart faint." Mr. Appleton, and some of 
his friends at the centre of New England influence, had given in 
their adhesion, or at least withdrawn their opposition, and discour- 
aged that of their associates. Mr. Polk has a man in his cabinet 
from New England, skilled to erect broad conclusions on a narrow 
basis of facts, and he had now some materials for the argument that 
Massachusetts, weakened by this defection in her old strong hold, 
was going to show the white feather. The news of the new move- 
ment reached Washington on the first day of the meeting of Con- 
gress. Nothing material was done, of a nature to bring that infer- 
ence into question, by any delegate from the North in either House. 
The game of opposition, hoped the slave usurpers, is up. If the 
free States are so content with what has already come and gone, 
and so easy about what is threatened to come next, they may be 
reckoned on to put up with any thing that can come. A little more 
or a little less, will not fret them. Accordingly, as soon as the mat- 
ter could be properly thought over, viz : on the 13th day of January, 
orders were issued to General Taylor to push on to the Rio Grande, 
where he established his batteries on the left bank, commanding the 
Mexican town on the other side. And so opened our Polka war- 
dance, to the tune of half a million of dollars a day. It exists, so 
the Congressmen voted, " by the act of Mexico." Certainly. Of 

* Speech in Secret Session, May 20th, 1844, 



28 THE SLAVE POWER. 

course. History will make no question of that, nor of the scrupu- 
losity of the voters. 

The demonstration of Mr. Appleton and his friends, whenever 
and however else it might have been made, was simultaneous with, 
and was apparently occasioned by, a vigorous movement of the 
people, which, without doubt, it did much to embarrass and check, 
coming, as it did, as unexpectedly as a thunder-clap in a clear sky. 
In November, 1845, before the Texan Constitution had been pre- 
sented for the examination of Congress, and while, of course, by the 
very provisions of the Act of the previous session, the question was 
still pending, the Massachusetts State Texas Committee undertook 
to procure an expression of the freemen of the country, with a view 
to arrest the measure. They applied for aid to Mr. Appleton among 
others whose previous course had appeared to mark them as friendly 
to the object. A letter, in which he declined to give it, was pub- 
lished by that Committee. In it he said, " For all practical pur- 
poses, as far as the people are concerned, t consider the question 
as settled. ***** Massachusetts has done her duty, and her 
Senators and Representatives will continue to do theirs. Beyond 
that, I cannot think it good policy to waste our efforts upon the 
impossible." 

How was the " question settled ?" Why was the defeat of the 
measure " impossible," if its honest enemies had even then reso- 
lutely combined ? In the erection of Missouri into a State, the bat- 
tle had been bravely fought to the bat's end, and it was only then 
by a majority of six in the House, that the cause of slavery tri- 
umphed. The Texas measure fell to the ground, after all that had 
taken place, if, in the House of Representatives then about to meet, 
a majority could have been found against it. In that House, there 
were to be only 88 members from the Slave States, against 135 from 
the Free, so that unless 24 members from the Free States should 
prove faithless to the cause of freedom, Texas would not be annex- 
ed, with a Constitution recognising slavery, which was all the peti- 
tioners at this time objected to. Was there no hope of preventing 
that number from going over, by a strenuous remonstrance on the 
part of their free constituents ? Are there no timid party-men, who, 
drilled and welded to the wrong as they may be, would yet like to 
be emboldened to the right by voices from their homes ? Are there 
no party-men, who, however devoted to the wrong, have a whole- 
some fear of those on whose votes they must rely for the next elec- 
tion ? Late as was the effort, and grievous and noxious as was the 
opposition which it encountered in the house of its friends, no fewer 
than some sixty thousand remonstrants sent up their nanies from 
Massachusetts, and probably not far from forty thousand more from 
other States. If the proportion of remonstrants to voters had been 
the same in the other free States as in this, the aggregate number 
of the former would have been no less than 880,000. Would that 
number, or even the half of it, have produced no effect ? And what 



THE TEXAS q,UESTION SETTLED. 29 

tended more to prevent it than the bolting at the centre of opera- 
tions ? 

The question was " settled." Have Mr. Appleton and his friends 
always reasoned thus ? It was no more expressly doomed by the 
Baltimore Resolutions, nor determined by the issue of the Presiden-. 
tial election, than was the repeal of the Tariff Bill. Yet did Mr. 
Appleton and his friends acquiesce in that settlement? Or did 
they desist from their resistance till the bill was repealed this week? 

The question was " settled." Did the very signs of the times, to 
an observant eye, hold out not the remotest hope of unsettling it ? 
Was there no bargain pending about Oregon and Texas, the breach 
of which has since shivered the democratic party ? And was there 
no probability whatever that the rogues might fall out in that quar- 
rel, in time for honest men to have another chance for their rights, 
if they would only continue to look after them ? 

The question was " settled." What if it had been ? Did Mas- 
sachusetts owe nothing then to her principles, her pledges, her char- 
acter ? Did she owe no record of honorable action to future his- 
tory ? Have Mr. Appleton and his friends always reasoned thus ? 
The question of the Presidential election we in Massachusetts knew 
to be "settled" on Thursday night, the 7th of November, 1844. 
Yet on Monday the 11th, under the cheer of theSe same leaders, we 
went to the polls, and rolled up a plurality of fourteen thousand for 
the defeated candidate. Our notion then was, and the truth was 
and forever is, that the more adverse the times, the more honorable 
is stedfastness to principle and profession. 

But Mr. Appleton and his friends in Boston said that the question 
was settled, and the House of Representatives, at Washington, took 
them at their word. Without such encouragement to believe that 
the spirit of Liberty was " settled " in the Free States, they would 
scarcely. have ventured to force the measure through the last stage, 
with such insulting and outrageous haste as characterised the pro- 
ceedings of the 16th day of December. 

William Pinckney said, nearly sixty years ago, that if slavery 
should survive fifty years, it would work a "decay of the spirit 
of liberty in the Free States." But he prophesied too gloomily. 
The capitals may cower ; but the interior will be true. Massachu- 
setts, at least, has done, and will do, her part to discredit the pre- 
diction. 



30 THE SLAVE POWER. 



NO. X. 



WHAT HAS THE NORTH TO DO WITH IT ?— THE NORTHERN 
PEOPLE ARE A FRACTION OF THE HUMAN RACE. 

J'"' '' I AM a man," said the classical poet, " and to nothing which 
concerns men am I indifferent." He was a slave, though one of 
the great writers of Rome. But he put the sentiment into the mouth 
of a freeman ; and every where, and in all ages, the free heart of 
man has an echo for it. 

" I am an American," may we add, " and there is nothing which 
concerns the character and honor of my country, that does not in- 
terest me." 

Massachusetts has concerned herself to good purpose about all the 
great troubles that afflict mankind. She began the Temperance re- 
formation, and has sent its beneficent influence to the borders of the 
civilized world. She instituted Peace Societies, and has leavened 
the whole mass of Christian thought and sentiment on that momen- 
tous subject. She established the first American mission to the hea- 
then ; and of the missionaries who have gone from this continent, 
one quarter part have been her sons and daughters, while the propor- 
tion of money contributed by her for the same purpose, as compared 
with that from the whole country, has not been less. 

Domestic slavery includes all forms of cruelty and wrong. Never, 
nowhere, in the most barbarous countries and ages, has it existed in 
a more horrid form than in these United States. Men scourged and 
branded, — women scourged, branded, and prostituted, — the sweet 
charities of domestic life denied, — husbands parted from wives, chil- 
dren from parents, under the hammer and the whip, — human re- 
duced to mere brute life, and made as much more wretched as fear, 
despair, and outraged human feelings can make it, — these and all 
the untold distresses that belong to them, are the matters with which 
the North, made up of men and women with human hearts, 
has no concern whatever. The North had some concern, as usual,' 
twenty-five years ago, when Grecian slavery sent its arousing appeal 
across the ocean. But we have no details of Turkish savageness, 
to show that it would stand any comparison with ours. 

Our friends who go on visits from the North, are subject to some 
error on this subject. Their introductions bring them acquainted 
with the most cultivated part of the Southern community. What- 
ever may present itself to give them pain, they see its slavery only 
in its least revolting shape. On the large and carefully ordered plan- 
tation of a proprietor of wealth and refinement, its hardships are 
mitigated, besides being kept out of view, though much of its hard- 
ship will there depend on the temper of the master, and more on 
that of his underlings. But it is only a very small part of the ag- 



MISERIES OF SLAVERY. 31 

gregate of slaves, that comes even thus far under the observation of 
strangers. Supposing ten to be the average number held by each 
proprietor, which cannot be far from a correct estimate, it follows, — 
and such is the fact, — that, while a considerable portion are attached 
to large estates, another considerable portion, by one, two, and 
three, and so on, in a family, are in the power of persons of infe- 
rior condition, little better instructed or less brutal than themselves, 
not like the independent laborer in moderate circumstances at 
the North, frugal, industrious, orderly, self-respecting and self- 
controlled, but persons living in such idleness and gross indulgen- 
ces as the forced labor at their command may admit, and without 
mental training or delicacy to restrain the capricious abuse of their 
despotic authority. 

It is impossible to reflect too sorrowfully on the condition of man, 
woman or child, in the keeping of rude ruffians like these. But cul- 
tivation of mind, and refinement of manners, are no pledge even for 
that moderation of character, which, after all, in its fullest exercise, 
could only abate a small part of the essential evils of the institution. 
Lord Byron said that Ali Pasha was the mildest mannered person he 
ever saw. The condition of slavery subjects one man to the unre- 
stricted power of another, for every thing short of life and death ; 
and this is a power which cannot fail to be enormously abused, 
on the whole, as long as man is man. 

It is mere impertinence to say that slaves will be well treated, be- 
cause such treatment is for the master's interest. What man, es- 
pecially what man whose will is law, takes counsel uniformly of his 
interest? Masters are not made up of mere prudence and consid- 
eration. They are liable, like other people, to be also whimsical, 
passionate, and violent, and their arbitrary power inflames these 
humors. Providence, in committing children so fully to the care of 
parents, has protected them through the parental affection, one of 
the deepest instincts 6f our nature, which, however, is often seen 
to be a scarcely adequate security against unkindness and wrong. 
Where is the protection against the irritated master, or against his 
brutal overseer, for the indolent, wasteful, stupid, and provoking 
slave ; indolent and wasteful, because without any better excite- 
ment than fear ; stupid, because forbidden to learn ? Nor is it by 
any means the settled maxim at the South that it has been often 
supposed to be. that a kind treatment of slaves is for the master's 
interest. The story is commonly told in Louisiana of one who, not 
long ago, was perhaps the largest proprietor in the State, that he 
expressly maintained the opposite doctrine, that it was cheaper to 
buy than to keep or rear, and that he worked his slaves accordingly, 
renewing his supply by purchase every few years. 

Any particular array of facts is superfluous, at the same time that 
it must be altogether imperfect, while the unavoidable tendencies of 
such a state of things stare us so fully in the face. But one can 
hardly keep getting enough of them for his satisfaction, if he has 



82 THE SLAVE POWER. 

occasion to pass through our Southern country. Let him travel in 
the public conveyances, in Georgia and Alabama, and day by day 
(we speak from knowledge) he shall be forced to see the most 
wicked outrages inflicted on those defenceless people. Let him 
take the stage coaches through Virginia, he shall hear, hour after 
hour, stories told by the neighbors of the parties, showing the de- 
plorable degradation of morals created by this baleful institution. 

They say that whipping, branding, and other tortures, manacling 
and collaring with iron, hunting runaways with dogs, the separation 
of families by sale, the prohibition of that knowledge which makes 
a man different from a beast, are necessary to the existence of forced 
servitude. That is what we say too. And further we say, that 
because such wrongs are necessary to it, the institution is too bad to 
exist.* 

We of New England are not alone in saying so. The whole 
world, civilized and savage, is coming to a remarkable unanimity 
upon the subject. Not only England has abolished it. The half- 
civilized Mexican, the barbarous African, the Bey of Tunis, have 
abolished it, as too cruel a thing to be longer allowed by any who 
have drank the milk of woman. The King of Dahomey, the last 
accounts from Guinea say, is taking steps for its abolition. The 
King of Dahomey is putting Mr. Calhoun and Governor Hammond 
to shame. 

A profound sentiment of disgust and indignation pervades the civ- 
ilized world. There are circles abroad, — not circles of rank, but 
of intelligence, refinement, and worth, — into which a man can 
have no admission, when it is once known that he is an American, 
till it is further known that he is not a slaveholder. Soon an Amer- 

* Mr. Walker, in his "Letter relative to the Annexation of Texas," by way 
of showing the superior advantages of slavery, and the inhumanity of a free con- 
dition for the blacks, stated (p. 12) that of blacks in the non-slaveholding States, 
one in 96 was either deaf and dumb, blind, an idiot, or insane ! For the basis of 
this precious argument, he referred to " the official returns of the census of 1840," 
made probably by some poor creatures who were paid their electioneering wages 
by being employed in this business. How fit they were for it, at any rate, or how 
well they understood what would please their employers, may be inferred from the 
following specimens of their report, among a vast number of others not at all less 
remarkable : 

Colored Inhabitants in Towns of Massachusetts. 

Total. Insane. Total. Insane. 



Freetown 





2 


Sterling 





2 


Plympton 


2 


4 


Danvers 





2 


Leominster 





2 


Georgetown 


1 


2 


Wilmington 





2 


Worcester 


151 


133 



While in Maine, by the same ciphering, it turned out that every fourteenth negro 
was afflicted with mental aberration. 

What was worse, Mr. Secretary Calhoun must needs make the same use of these 
stupid falsehoods, and publish them, and his arguments founded on them, to the 
laughing world, in his letter to Mr. Pakenham of April 18th, 1844 ; and when the 
House of Representatives, on Mr. Adams's motion, called his attention to the sub- 
ject, he replied that he was " not aware of any errors in the census." 



REPEAL OF THE TARIFF. 33 

ican slave-holding envoy will find his position uncomfortable in 
Europe. The Church of Scotland will send back the money, 
contributed by American slaveholders to its necessities. The great 
ecclesiastical bodies among us can keep up no cohesion, with this 
dividing element; one after another, within the last two years, they 
have been sundering, by force of the moral antagonism within their 
vitals. The political organizations feel it. Mr. Berrien of Georgia 
is said to be a gentleman of estimable qualities ; but who does not 
know that his participation in our electioneering canvass of 1844 
was strongly distasteful to many of our patriotic yeomen, and that 
where his Whig argument persuaded one voter, his slavery presence 
sometimes disturbed and discouraged two? And this before any 
body could have foreboded that he would have been one of the 
majority of the Committee, which carried the final measure for the 
annexation of Texas through the Senate. 

What has the North to do with Slavery! Just as much as hu- 
manity has, and that is a great deal ; just as much as the decent 
reputation of the country has; and just as much as the South itself 
has, in respect to part of the jurisdiction of these United States. 
The Territories, which we of the North, as much as any body, have 
the responsibility of governing, have borne the stain as broadly and 
as deeply as any portion of the land. The District of Columbia, 
for which we are legislators, is the great slave-market of the Union ; 
and Northern Members of Congress, present there on the public 
service, must day by day be witnesses to enormities, which they, or 
at all events their constituents, execrate from the bottom of their 
hearts. Have they nothing to do with that? Will mankind, will 
just history, will Christianity, will a righteous God, admit any such 
plea? 



NO. XI. 



WHAT HAS THE NORTPI TO DO WITH IT ? — BUSINESS OF 
THE NORTH SACRIFICED. 

The mail of Wednesday week put us in the way of one answer 
to this question. It is not worth while to do any thing more to prevent 
the annexation of Texas, said some of our politicians, tovv'ards the 
close of 1845. About the middle of 1846, two Texan votes in 
the United States Senate strip thousands of freemen in the North 
of their means of an honest livelihood. Foisted in among us by 
the Southern usurpers, a petty foreign province, without the 
^slightest Constitutional right to interfere in our affairs, has struck 
a staggering blow at the industry of the workshops of Massachu- 
setts. 



34 THE SLAVE POWER. 

The Slave Power will not endure that Northern freemen should 
prosper. Slave labor and free labor it regards as antagonistic 
interests. Down to 1816, the South waged war on commerce, 
then our only way to wealth. To raise the price of their cotton, 
they determined that we should manufacture or starve. We did 
not incline to starve, and we learned to manufacture. The sight 
of our new prosperity annoys them as much as the sight of the 
old. They will not understand that it is because we work, with 
the spirit and intelligence of freemen (which they will not do), 
that we flourish, and they are out at the elbows. 

" Base envy withers at another's joy, 
And hates that excellence it cannot reach." 

So after many a struggle, defeated by what survived of the good 
sense and patriotic feeling of the country, they have succeeded at 
length, with the aid of their new allies, in striking down a system 
coeval with the existence of the government, but more essential 
now, as they persuade themselves, to our well-being than to their 
own. The Slave-Power has done it. Who does not know that ? 
Has the wronged and cheated North nothing to do with the Slave 
Power ? 

By the disposition it has manifested to truckle to that power in 
order to secure its indulgence and patronage, the North has been 
rather too apt to show its consciousness of having something to do 
with it, as an element of our politics. If it is ever to learn better, 
it might seem that it now has its lesson. Acquiescence in the 
unutterable atrocity of the annexation of Texas, did not save the 
Tariff. Texas has stricken the Tariff down. The retributive jus- 
tice that never spares public delinquency, has executed speedily its 
judgment against an evil work. 

Mr. Davis is reported to hav« said, the other day, in the Senate, 
that the Tariff system " had occupied the attention of the people of 
this country for more than twenty years. * * * It had in fact . 
been the great political question of all that period." It is a great 
question, without doubt, particularly in its moral aspects, A man 
reasonably expects of the government which he supports, that it 
shall allow him a fair chance to obtain by his industry the means of 
a decent living, and of an education for his children ; and, to be 
prosperous in a higher sense than has any thing to do with pam- 
pering or finery, a community needs to have a competent provision 
for its members. But Scripture is wiser than trade, when it de- 
clares that a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things 
which he possesseth. He may buy that abundance so dear, that it 
shall visit him with the most wretched of all poverty. To some 
people it may seem preaching to say so ; but there is, after all, a 
greater question than that of the Tariff, which the free people of 
this country have in hand, and which the Whig party, that pro- 
fesses to wish them well, ought to have vigorously in hand ; and 



TEXAS AND THE TARIFF. 35 

that is, the question of Liberty and Right. The Tariff' Bill of 
1842 had its merits ; but, strange though it may sound in some 
ears, the Preamble to the American Constitution contains far more 
important meaning in less space. 

Mr. Appleton did not think it worth while last autumn to make 
any further effort for freedom against Texas. He said the 
question of annexation was " settled," and the administration 
concluded, that the spirit of liberty was disposed of too 
in the Free States. It is true he thought the Tariff ques- 
tion was also settled. In his communication to the " National 
Intelligencer," reprinted here last winter in a pamphlet, he said, 
" This is the cry which is expected to break down the tariff, and 
there is little doubt it ivill succeed ; for the party have set up the 
cry, and they have decided majorities in both branches of Congress" 
(p. 21). But, hopeless as opposition was in Mr. Appleton's opin- 
ion, still, in the momentous matter of the tariff, he thought it expe- 
dient to persevere to the end, /or he is wise man enough to know 
that exertion is always manly and prudent, even when the chances 
of success are small. Why this difference in the two cases? 

According to the interpretation of Mr. Appleton and some of his 
friends, not only does the PVhig creed seem to be synonymous with 
the late Tariff system, but the Tariff seems to mean nothing but 
protection for the cotton manufacture. Now, in Massachusetts, 
Tariff ought to mean something besides cotton. Of the manufac- 
tured products of that State, cotton (calico included) does not 
equal one-sixth part. It is not even the principal article. Leather 
(including boots and shoes) exceeds it by nearly two millions of 
dollars. And if the cotton manufacture, conducted by rich corpo- 
rations, has given the principal occasion to that clamor of dema- 
gogues against capitalists, by which the other forms of manufacture, 
neither conducted by corporations nor owned by capitalists, have 
been made to suffer, it is doubly hard if any indifference to a great 
national evil, fostered by a hope of security or advantage for the 
former, should be found to result in a sacrifice not only of itself, 
but of all the rest. 

Manufacturers of Massachusetts, look at Mr. Appleton's pam- 
phlet, entitled '•' What is a Revenue Standard ? " circulated here 
last spring, and see how many interests of yours were thought 
worthy of consideration, in a discussion of the Tariff. With the 
exception of a paragraph on woolens, and a line or two on straw 
hats, and a few more on silk (a very unimportant article), all the 
rest of the argument, as far as Massachusetts is concerned, relates 
to cotton. What do the 48,000 shoemakers and tanners of Massa 
chusetts say to this ? 



Ho ! workers of the old time styled 
'The gentle ciaft of Leather,' " 



3* 



36 THE SLAVE POWER. 

are the eighteen millions which you produce out of the hundred 
milUons of annual manufacturing product of the Commonwealth, of 
no account in connexion with protection for native industry ? 
Papermakers, hatters, glass-blowers, men of all the other crafts, 
which in the aggregate exceed six fold the production of cotton, is 
the Tariff nothing to you ? If slavery had not been established in 
Texas by its admission to this Union, you would have had a large 
market for your wares among the freemen who would then soon have 
occupied that inviting country.* Above all, if Texas had not been 
admitted, the Tariff which protected your domestic market would not 
have been repealed, as it was. With the admission of Texas, and 
its consequent perpetual slavery, the cotton manufacturers may get 
their raw material a fraction of a cent lower on the pound, and 
they may find a sale for a few more cheap negro cloths. But how 
much of your paper will the slaves use in writing to their friends ? 
How many cases of your hats will they order in a year? How 
much of your glass will the luxury of their tables and their draw- 
ing-rooms require ? How many of your spermaceti candles will they 
need to light their halls, how much of your cabinet ware to furnish 
their chambers ? If the admission of Texas was expected to bene- 
fit the cotton trade, how much gratitude do you owe to the disin- 
terestedness of those who have been willing to have your business 
broken up by Texan votes ? If a willingness to admit Texas was 
expected to be a means of conciliating the Southern despots, so 
that they would consent to let the Tariff stand, how much respect 
do you owe to the sagacity of such calculators ? 

A man in Mr. Appleton's position is not favorably circumstanced 
in respect to comprehensive and elevated views of public policy. 
He may be skilled in finance, — - in questions of currency, exchange 
and customs, — but his habits of thought are apt to lead him to con- 
cern himself with the obvious and superficial causes of material 
prosperity, to the neglect or obstruction of those which are more 
efficient and vital. He pries knowingly among the wheels and 
spindles, but does not care so much for the sources of the stream 
that sets them going. There is a thousand fold more wise, and 
manly, and profitable statesmanship in George Putnam's Election 
Sermon, wherein he showed how righteousness exalteth a nation, 
and how Massachusetts had been prosperous because she had been 
religious and brave, than in all that Mr. Appleton ever said or wrote, 
known to us. •' Whenever," said that sensible preacher, " she 
shall come down from her high Christian estate, and disown her 
baptismal vows, then, — look at her history, look at her position, 
and acknowledge it, — then her prosperity will become disease, her 

* " The first measure of the new emigrants, as soon as they shall have sufficient 
strength, will be to aholish that great domestic institiition, upon which so much of 
the prosperity of our Soutliern country depends. « « « « « jf Texas should 
not be attached to the United States, she cannot maintain that institution ten years, 
and probably not half that time." Mr. UpsMir to Mr. Murphy., January 16th, 1844, 



EDUCATION IN THK SLAVE STATES. 



37 



trumpet voice of truth and right will be hushed, her horn of power 
will be broken, and all her glory departed." Her Appletons, — 
yes, and her Websters, — will be safer and stronger guardians of 
her interests, in proportion as they take diligent note of this, and 
govern themselves accordingly. To forget it, while it is to trans- 
gress far weightier maxims, is to violate that which is of the 
gravest import of all, on 'change ; it is to be " penny wise and 
pound foolish." 



NO. XII. 

WHAT HAS THE NORTH TO DO WITH IT? — ITS INFLUENCE 
ON THE COMPETENCY OF VOTERS AND RULERS. 

The Fifth Chapter of the Constitution of Massachusetts, in its 
second section, declares as follows : 

" Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body 
of the people, being necessarjj for the preservation of their rights and liberties, and 
as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in 
the various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it 
shall be the duty of legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of this 
Commonwealth, to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, * * * * 
to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, 
public and private charity, industry and frugality, honesty and punctuality in their 
dealings, sincerity, good humor, and all social affections, and generous sentiments 
among the people." 

Massachusetts established her Constitution in 1780, when she 
was, to all intents and purposes, a sovereign State. While her peo- 
ple were thus under her own government alone, she was of opinion 
that they could have no security for their rights and liberties, any 
longer than they should be intelligent and virtuous. What was true 
for her then, is true for her now. What was true for her, was, and 
is, equally true for her sister States. None of them can have any 
security for their rights and liberties under the rule of an ignorant 
and vicious population. 

Yet such a rule the slave power unavoidably creates ; and, the 
slave power having obtained the ascendancy in our government, 
under such a rule do we at present live. Does that not concern 
the North ? Has it no concern with the character and competency 
of those who govern it ? If the slave power had not obtained the 
usurped ascendancy which it now wields, still, has the North no 
concern about the character and competency of those who, by the 
Constitution, share with it the functions of government, and are to 
pass on questions the most material to its welfare ? 

Of the thirteen original States, the population of the four most 
3* 



38 THE SLAVE POWER. 

northerly, in 1840, was 1,441,081, and the number of white per- 
sons in them, over twenty years of age, who could neither read nor 
write, was 7,530, or less than one in 191. The free population of 
the four southern old States, was 1,976,220, and the number of free 
white persons, over twenty years of age, who could neither read nor 
write, was 166,728, or one in less than 12. Massachusetts had 
4,448 of this ignorant class, most of them in the few towns where 
foreign emigrants collect. Virginia, with a total of free inhabitants 
only fifty-three thousand larger, had 58,787. In New Hampshire, 
the proportion of persons unable to read and write to the whole 
free population, was as one to more than 300, in South Carolina 
and Georgia about as one to 13. In Connecticut, one in 590 could 
neither read nor write ; in North Carolina, more than one in 9. 
These are the facts, supposing the census to have been correctly 
taken in these particulars. But considering the auspices under 
which it was made, and the class of errors which vitiate it, of which 
we gave some rather striking specimens the other day, it is to be 
presumed that the representation, alarming as it is, is altogether 
more favorable to the slave States than the truth would warrant. 

The case could not be otherwise. In slave States there can be 
no system of universal public instruction for the free. It is not the 
interest of the large proprietors to elevate the character of their 
poor neighbors, for the consequence would be an abatement of their 
own importance and political power. But waiving that, the divi- 
sion of estates is such as to put the arrangement out of the question. 
In New England, the people in moderate circumstances are every 
where, covering the face of the country, so that a school-house is 
brought within a convenient distance of every man's hearth ; while 
in Virginia, if a poor man could get schooling for his child on the 
other side of the next plantation, it would take him the best part 
of the day to go and come. The thing is impossible. 

We have not the statistics necessary to show the relative provi- 
sion made for religious instruction in the Free and Slave States re- 
spectively. They would no doubt give a similar result. In New 
England, the traveller is never out of sight of the spires of churches, 
betokening that every New England family is brought up in the 
nurture and admonition of the Lord. In Virginia, still older than 
New England, and in the Carolinas, not much less ancient, out of 
the cities one travels dismal miles without once seeing that cheering 
token of civilised humanity ; and when, every now and then, it is 
met with, its wretched, tumble-down condition indicates scarcely 
less painfully the degree of importance attached to the use to which 
it is devoted. Of a fine day the women and children may make a 
journey from some " Swallow Barn " to some distant church in the 
Vvfoods, to say their prayers and get a word of exhortation from some 
transient preacher; but neighborhoods, where the institutions of the 
Gospel may be regularly supported, and where from Sabbath to 
Sabbath men may meet to recognise their mutual relation under the 



EDUCATION IN THE SLAVE STATES. 39 

roof of the common Parent, and learn the lessons which may make 
them mutually helpful durhig the week, — such neighborhoods, in a 
region cut up into large properties for slave cultivation, must needs 
be few and far between. 

We are not going to write a chapter on the morality of the free 
people of slave countries. But what is to be expected of a popu- 
lation, of which a considerable part is brought up without acquaint- 
ance with the very elements of knowledge, and a much larger, with 
extremely limited opportunities for religious instruction ; among 
whom the rich, living on the compelled labor of others, are accus- 
tomed to the exercise of force, and, having no regular occupation 
to task and balance their minds, are the more accessible to every 
noxious excitement ; and the poor, unfurnished with mental resour- 
ces, and seeing labor accounted dishonorable, are robbed of that 
self-respect which is the guardian of all the virtues, and confined 
for their enjoyments to the gross range of physical indulgence ? 
What is to be expected of the slave-master in his other relations, 
when, according to the slave-holder, Mr. Jefferson, "the whole 
commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the 
boisterous passions ; * * * the child looks on ; catches the linea- 
ments of wrath ; gives loose to the worst of passions ; and, thus 
nursed and educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be 
stamped by it with odious peculiarities ? " What is to be expected, 
but what we read of, duels, assassinations, street broils. Lynch law, 
and so on ? Such proceedings as burning negroes would perhaps 
hardly be expected, even in this state of things ; but here reasonable 
expectation is surpassed, and they do occur. 

We of the North know nothing of these doings except so much 
asthe newspapers on the spot see 'fit to tell us, but these convey in- 
teresting information enough concerning the culture and moderation 
of the fellow-citizens under whose sway we live. We have before 
us a small collection of anecdotes of brutality from such papers, 
embracing a period of three years. Their details would make a 
book, which we have no thought of doing. Sometimes they gen- 
eralize the facts. " Why," says a Mobile paper, " do we hear of 
stabbings and shootings almost daily in some part or other of our 
State?" " Almost every exchange paper that reaches us," says a 
Mississippi journal, "contains some inhuman and revolting case of 
murder, or death by violence." The New Orleans Bee thinks that 
" if crime increases as it has, it will soon become the most poxverful 
agent in destroying life ;" and Judge Canonge, of the same city, 
said from the bench, " without some powerful and certain remedy, 
our streets will become butcheries overflowing with the blood of our 
citizens." It is this state of society from which legislators come, 
and bring their accomplishments and habits with them. So the 
Speaker of the House of R.epresentatives of Arkansas, not very 
long ago, settled a question of order by stabbing a member mortally 
with a bovvie knife, on the floor of the House. So Mr. Campbell 



40 THE SLAVE POWER. 

and Mr. Maury of Tennessee, and in the same month Mr. Bell and 
Mr. Turney of the same State, fought at fisti-cufFs at Washington 
in the Hall where they sat as Representatives. So Mr. Peyton of 
Tennessee, and Mr. Wise of Virginia, went armed with pistols and 
dirks into a Committee-room of Congress, and threatened to kill a 
witness while giving his evidence. So Mr. Senator McDuffie of 
South Carolina, and Colonel Cumming of Georgia, worried and 
scandalized the decent part of the nation, season after season, with 
a publication of their successive plans for putting an end to each 
other ; — a thing which, after all, they contrived not to effect. 

Such would not be the Representatives of an enlightened and 
self-respecting constituency. JVhat has the North to do with slave- 
ry 1 As much it has to do with good government ; as much as it 
has to do with the difference between being governed by enlightened 
and orderly, or by ignorant, lawless and vicious fellow-citizens. 



NO. XIII. 

WHAT HAS THE NORTH TO DO WITH IT? — COSTLY AND 
WICKED WARS. 

The North has something to do with the National Legislation, 
which has charge of all the great affairs of the national body, and 
presents it before the world and before history as a ruffian or a Chris- 
tian people, according as a ruffian or Christian policy guides its coun- 
sels. 

Outrages of the slave-holding administrations follow each other 
so fast, that the latest soon throws those which have preceded into 
forge tfulness. 

It is but fifteen years, since the moral sense of the country and of 
the world was shocked by the barbarous treatment of the Cherokee 
Indians. By successive cessions of territory, they had become re- 
duced to a tract of five millions of acres between the States of Geor- 
gia and Alabama. Sixteen successive treaties had been made with 
them by the United States, recognizing their competency to treat as 
independent communities, and guarantying to them the soil which 
ihey had determined to retain. Under the instruction of Christian 
missionaries, they had abandoned the practices of savage life, be- 
taken themselves to the stationary pursuits of grazing and agriculture, 
and settled into an orderly and well-conducted community. They 
had schools, churches, books, and a printing-press and newspaper. 
But the people of Georgia, one in every dozen of whom could 
not so much as read the plainest English the Cherokees could write, 
coveted their neighbors' houses and lands ; and in 1827, an Act 



REMOVAL OF THE CHEROKEES. 41 

of the Legislature of that State asserted the right of taking a forci- 
ble possession. The next year Georgia, extended he7' jurisdiction (as 
she called it) over the territory, annexing it by parts to certain of 
her counties, and at the same time enacting that no Cherokee should 
be a party or a witness in any of her courts. The following yeari 
she enacted further, that if any Cherokee Chief should attempt to 
prevent the people of his tribe from emigrating, he should be liable 
to imprisonment for four years, and that if any Cherokee should at- 
tempt to prevent a Chief from selling the whole country, he should 
be imprisoned not less than four nor more than six years. 

What was the government of the United States doing all this 
while, — that government, which, for valuable considerations, and 
by more solemn treaties than there are months in the year, had 
stipulated to protect them against all the world ? It was doing the 
cowardly injustice, which the slave power dictated ; little Georgia 
stormed,* and her natural allies stood by her, for the Cherokee coun- 
try was charged with having given refuge to runaways. In 1830, . 
the Indians appealed to General Jackson for defence against what 
they justly characterised as "a wanton usurpation of power, sanc- 
tioned neither by the common law of the land, nor by the laws of 
nature ; " and were answered,f that they were to expect nothing 
from him, but must either submit to Georgia, or to a removal to lands 
beyond the Mississippi ; and, suiting the action to the word, the 
President presently removed the troops which had been stationed 
for their defence. By an application for a writ of injunction against 
Georgia, they brought their case into the Supreme Court of the 
United States, where it went off on a technical objection. An over-'? 
whelming force was poured into their country. There was nothing 
further for them ; and they were removed from their homes to a dis- 
tant region beyond the Mississippi, there to remain, under just such^:^ 
another ^waran^y as those of which they had already experienced 
the value, till Arkansas shall be populous enough to be disposed to 
extend her jurisdiction over them as Georgia had done before. Un--.- 
der the direction of General Scott the removal was as humanely ' 
conducted as the cruel circumstances of the case allowed. Their 
lands were distributed by lottery among the people of Georgia, and 
the ineffaceable stain remains on the honor of the nation. Its char- ! 
acter stands settled by a decree of the highest national tribunal. 
In Se[)tember, 1831, three missionaries were sentenced by a Geor- 

' During Mr. Adarnfs's administration, when treaties were considered to have 
some ijinding force, Governor Troup, of Georgia, wrote as follows (Feb. 17th, 1827,) 
to the Secretary of War, in reply to an intimation that the Indians would be pro- •' 
tected : " You will distinctly understand, tiiat I feel it to be my duty to resist to the" 
utmost ^ny military attack which the Government of the United States shall think 
proper to make on the territory, the people, or the sovereignty of Georgia ; and all 
measures necessary to the perfortnance of tliis duty, according to our limited means, 
are in progress. From the first decisive act of hostility, you will be considered and 
treated as a public enemy." 

t Letter of Mr. Eaton, Secretary of War, April 18th, 1829. 



42 THE SLAVE POWER. 

gia Court to four years' imprisonment in the penitentiary for residing 
among the Cherokees, without taking the oath of allegiance to that 
State. The case was carried up to the Supreme Court of the Uni- 
ted States, who decreed (May 3d, 1832,) that the imprisonment was 
illegal, because the law of Georgia, assuming jurisdiction over the 
Cherokee country, was contrary to laws and treaties of the United 
States, and therefore null and void. The missionaries were dis- 
charged ten months after, but the poor Indians were without redress. 

J The Seminole troubles, of twenty-five years' duration from first to 

last, are fresher in the minds of this generation ; a bill of twenty 
millions of dollars (and how much more nobody knows) has help- 
ed to keep their memory green. At the close of the war of 1812, a 
number of runaway slaves, from Georgia and elsewhere, collected in 
Florida, then a Spanish possession, fifteen or twenty miles above 
the mouth of the Apalachicola river, where they fenced in land for 
farming, provided themselves with arms, and built a fort. The place 
of course became a resort for fugitive slaves, and as such attracted 
the notice of our government. General Jackson, then commanding 
on the frontier, was instructed to notify the Spanish Commandant 
at Pensacola, that the fort must be destroyed, and he issued orders 
to General Gaines to destroy it accordingly, and to restore the ne- 
groes to their masters. Colonel Clinch attacked it by land, and Com- 
modore Patterson by sea. It was blown up with hot shot, and about 
three hundred negroes were killed. The survivors were sent home 
to their masters. The army and navy of the United States had been 
out on a slave-hunting expedition, and had caught and butchered 
the blacks at the expense of the slavery-hating freemen of the North. 
The Indians resented the death of some of their friends in the negro 

I fort, and thus began the first Seminole war, which involved us with 
Spain and England, and for a time threatened serious consequences 
with those powers. 

General Jackson's campaign of 1818 quieted the Indians for a 
while, and in 1821 Florida became ours by purchase. The Indians 
in this territory, believed then to number about two thousand in all, 
scattered in little villages and hamlets, were collected into a tract, 
near the centre of the peninsula, where, notwithstanding the neigh- 
borhood of a strong military post, they continued still to harbor ne- 
groes. For this and other reasons, their presence was unwelcome, 
and in 1827, a proposal was made to them, on the part of the Uni- 
ted States Government, to remove beyond the Mississippi ; which, 
however, they positively declined to entertain. In 1832 the busi- 
ness was taken up again more resolutely, and, by the treaty of 
Payne's Landing, they consented to an arrangement, according to 
which, if a delegation from themselves to explore the country provid- 
ed for their settlement, should return with a favorable report, they 
were to consent to emigrate. 

This treaty was differently interpreted by President Jackson and 
the Indians. A large part of the nation, burning with a sense of 



SEMINOLE WARS. 43 

former wrongs, and believing themselves to be now over-reached 
and outraged anew, refused at all events to remove. The President 
sent a military force to compel their acquiescence, and at the close 
of 1835 another Seven Years' War broke out, in which a few miser- 
able savages defied the whole power and resources of this vigorous 
nation. The President estimated the number of the Seminole war- 
riors at four hundred. The Secretary at War rated it as high as 
seven hundred and fifty. The disbursing agent in Floirda reckoned 
the whole population, including men, women, and children, Indians 
and negroes, at three thousand. Against them, in addition to the ^, 
regular troops, had been marshalled, as early as 1840, more than ^ 
fourteen thousand volunteers from the neighboring States,* and in '■ 

the middle of that year the expense already incurred had been es- 
timated at twenty millions of dollars.f But the runaway negroes, 
more or fewer, whom a few hundreds of outlawed Indians could har- 
bor, were to be caught again at whatever cost of American life and 
treasure. " I have to ask your particular attention," wrote the 
Secretary of War to the Commanding General, January 21st, 1836, 
" to the measures indicated to prevent the removal of those negroes, 
and to insure their restoration. You will alloiv no terms to the In- 
dians, until every living slave in their possession, belonging to a white 
man, is given up.'" This was the great sme qua non of a pacification. 
Without it, there must be interminable war. The North had plenty 
of lives and money to spare, and these must insure Georgia and 
Alabama against the loss of a single runaway negro. What wor- 
thier test could there be of Northern loyalty ? What fitter use for 
Northern blood and money ?| 

They did not quite get us into a war with England about the self- 
emancipated slaves of the Enterprise and Creole, but it is no thanks 
to Mr. Calhoun or his Thrasonic backers that they did not. It 
seemed at one time getting to be a very pretty quarrel, and had 
John Bull been a more favorable subject for Southern valor to prac- 
tice upon, it may be that we should have argued it to the tithe part 
of a hair. 

What has the North to do with the Slave Poiver ? Just as much 
as belongs to its share of the waste, annoyance and disgrace which 
the cupidity of the wayward and domineering Slave Power is con- 
tinually bringing on the country. 

^ Report of the Adjutant General, in House Document, No. 8, 26th Congress, 2d 
Session. 

t Speech of Mr. Everett of Vermont, in the House, July 14th, 1840. 

if An order of General Jessup, of August 3d, 1837, respecting captured property 
of the Seininoles, announces that "their 7ieo'rofis, cattle and horses, will belong to 
the corps by which they are captured." This was an army which we of tiie North 
paid to keep in tiie field. But -wluU has the Xorth to do with slaves ? According to 
another order, (Si-pt. (jtli,) "the Seminole negroes captured by the army, will be taken 
on account of Gocemment, and held subject to the order of the Secretary of War." 



44 THE SLAVE POWER. 



NO. XIV. 

WHAT HAS THE NORTH TO DO WITH IT ? —THE NORTH DE- 
FRAUDED AND BROW-BEATEN BY ITS COMMON LEGISLATION, 

The common legislation of the dominant Slave Power is shame- 
lessly unjust to the North. The legislative records of every year 
contain the constantly accumulating evidence to this point. Nothing 
short of volumes would tell the story. Let us be content with a 
case or two, which are yet fresh in memory. Besides the tariff of 
1846, which cripples Northern industry on so immense a scale, two 
instances have just occurred, which, of however inferior importance, 
are fair specimens of the style in which such things have been man- 
aged, ever since the Slave Power has had every thing its own way. 

The United States owe a large sum to Massachusetts for military 
expenses, during the war of 1812. As to a portion of the claim, 
questions have been raised, whether the expenditure was under such 
circumstances, as to entitle to remuneration by the United States. 
But another large portion stands strictly on the ground of a bond fide 
debt, without any such doubtful principles to embarrass it. As such, 
to the amount of ,^250,000, more or less, it was long ago audited 
and allowed by the officers of the Treasury. But it cannot be paid 
without an appropriation by Congress ; and that appropriation, beings 
as it is, due to Massachusetts, will be forth-coming from the Slave 
Power just at the happy time, when the Greek Calends come round. 
A clause, providing for it, was inserted in the last Appropriation Bill, 
but was struck out in the House. The party is content to take the 
position of a rich scoundrel, who owns that he owes, and says that 
he does not choose to pay. 

At the time of the changes of government in France, fifty years 
ago, a large amount of property of northern merchants, estimated, 
if we recollect right, at some twelve millions of dollars, was captured- 
on the high seas, without color of right, by armed vessels of the 
French Republic. Our government, as was its duty, claimed remu- 
neration. The French, on the other hand, alleged causes of complaint 
against us. By the convention with Napoleon, of Sept. 30th, 1800, 
these reclamations were mutually abandoned. Each government, for 
a valuable consideration, discharged the other from its alleged obliga- 
tions, and of course became answerable to its own citizens in the 
place of the party released. The Constitution says that " private 
property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation." 
Here private property was taken for public use. The public bought 
certain treaty advantages ; and the purchase money was a waiver of 
the indemnity due to certain American citizens from the foreign gov- 
ernment. But that money was due at the North ; the Slave Power 
was able to keep it from its owners ; and it has kept it to this day. 



FREEDOM OF SPEECH, PETITION, AND THE PRESS. 45 

Some of it belonged to rich men, and some to poor men, women 
and children. Three years ago, William Smith, an inmate of the 
poor-house at Nortiiampton, a blind old man, of estimable charac- 
ter, formerly a thrifty ship-master, petitioned the Legislature of Mas- 
sachusetts to interest itself with the General Government to obtain 
for him some portion of ten thousand dollars, of which he had been 
robbed more than forty years before by French privateers, and which, 
ever since 1800, the American Government had justly owed him, in 
consequence of the settlement in the treaty of that year. 

From the time of the treaty to this time, the claim has been brought 
forward, about as often as there has been opportunity, amid the din 
of parties, for such a matter to get a hearing. As often as it has 
been listened to, it has gained the approval of most minds not dishon- 
est. Committees have repeatedly reported in its favor. From time 
to time, bills providing for it have been passed by one or the other 
House; but fhe Slave Power has always, till the last session, suc- 
cessfully resisted its passage through both. At length, at a late day 
of the recent session, the House passed a bill, in concurrence with 
the Senate, providing for compensation to the claimants to the 
amount of five millions of dollars, payable in land scrip, an utterly 
inadequate allowance, but still better than the nothing which had 
been given to the dead, and with which the survivors had had to 
rest so long dissatisfied. Whether the slave interest allowed this 
vote to pass, for the sake of conciliating favor, on the part of its 
friends, to some other measure, and with the knowledge that the 
President would interpose his authority to prevent its becoming a 
law, the public is not yet informed. That authority however he 
did interpose, the reasons assigned by him in his veto message being 
substantially that he wanted the money to carry on the war for the 
further establishment of slavery at the South, and that the justice of 
Congress was so sure and prompt, that, had the claim been a good 
one, it would long ago have been allowed and settled. 

But these are only acts of dishonesty, which we can afford to put 
up with, disagreeable as it is to men or communities to be robbed of 
their honest dues. They are rejmdiation, to which the ruling spirit 
in the cabinet got well used before he came from his Mississippi 
home. Let them go. If the Slave Power can bear the infamy, we 
can bear the robbery. Only they deserve a passing word, as indi- 
cating the feeling which exists among slave-holders towards the in- 
dustrious part of the country, and that absence of all sense of justice 
which might not unnaturally be expected to take possession of those 
who are contented to live on the forced labor of others. 

There are other wrongs, to which it is by no means so easy to be 
reconciled. Freedom of speech and of the iness is a right of great 
consideration with us. Our ancestors, on the other side of the water, 
worked their way to it through many a weary and bloody struggle, and 
when we got it recognized in our Federal Constitution, we flattered our- 
selves, easy souls! thatall was safe enough. How is it now? On theques- 



46 THE SLAVE POWER. 

tion more interesting than any other of the present day to humanity 
and patriotism, a man cannot freely speak or print his mind and live, 
south of Mason & Dixon's line. There is no such espionage on the 
face of the globe, as that which is on the watch for this offence. 
France and Russia, in their most efficient plans of police, never im- 
agined the like. It is not that the laws will make way with a man, 
but, — what is more certain, and less regular and decent, — that the 
neighbors will. Cassius M. Clay in Kentucky escaped with the 
breaking up of his press ; but if they did not shoot or stab him, it 
was because he was reputed able (in the phrase of his country) to 
deal in that rough way with two or three times his own weight. 
Lovejoy they had shot for the same offence not long before. And 
that was in a State called free. But Alton was only distant by the 
width of the river from that Missouri, which we endowed with all 
the immunities of slavery five and twenty years ago ; and it was not 
to be endured that a freeman should speak his mind so near to the 
tabooed ground, so long as cord or lead could stop him. 

The practice of petitions on the part of the governed has been al- 
lowed by the harshest governments. We flattered ourselves we had 
done something safe, and something no more than reasonable, when, 
instead of an allowance, we had established in the Constitution, " the 
7'ight of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the govern- 
ment for a redress of grievances." But the Slave Power, of late 
years, has not so much as permitted its northern vassals to petition. 
For ten years, the following atrocious provision stood among the 
Rules and Orders of the national House of Representatives ; viz. 
that " no petition, memorial, resolution, or other paper praying the 
abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, or any State or Ter- 
ritory, or of the Slave Trade between the States or Territories of 
the United Slates, in which it now exists, shall be received by this 
House, or entertained in any way whatever." Much as the Free 
States have shown themselves ready to bear, this bare-faced insult 
was found to be arousing their spirit, and making abolitionists among 
them, a little too fast ; and at the commencement of the last Session, 
by a close vote, the Rule was repealed. But all that has been yet 
gained is, that such papers now get as far as the clerk's table, and 
there sleep the sleep of death. 

What have men of the North to do with the Slave Power ? It 
makes the national legislation insolently hostile to their rights and 
interests. It wrests from them the privilege of so much as making 
their sense of public grievances known to their rulers. And it si- 
lences the free voice and the free press, which would rebuke the most 
frightful evil that afflicts the land. 



OUTRAGES ON NORTHERN VISITORS. 47 



NO. XV. 

WHAT HAS THE NORTH TO DO WITH IT? — OUTRAGES 
ON NORTHERN CITIZENS. 

In the year 1830, theie sailed a ship from the port of Salem, in 
Massachusetts, called the Friendshi]). She carried dollars and 
opium, and went to the Island of Sumatra for pepper. The people 
of that hospitable region loved the coin and the drug, and one day 
when the captain, with part of his crew, was on shore, they visited 
the vessel, killed two of the men, drove the rest overboard, and 
helped themselves to her cargo. Such were the police laws of 
Q,ualla Battoo. 

News of the transaction came to America. The American 
government was not satisfied with such treatment of its citizens, 
going about their lawful business. A big ship was fitted out, the 
Potomac, commanded by Commodore Downes. Pie anchored off 
Qualla Battoo, landed his ship's company by night, stormed the 
forts, put to the sword all the people he could reach, and reduced 
the settlement to ashes. And the people of the place have de- 
meaned themselves quietly and peaceably to American visitors from 
that day to this. 

About the same time, and since, certain other vessels, on their 
lawful occasions, sailed from Boston in Massachusetts, to Charles- 
ton in South Carolina. On their arrival, the people of that region 
came on board, took out certain individuals of their crews, and 
locked them up in jail on shore. When the vessels were ready to 
depart, they brought the men on board again, provided the captains 
would pay a ransom, called the expense of the detention, and 
enter into certain bonds. Otherwise the prisoners were sold into 
perpetual slavery. That all ever did get back again by this process 
to their vessels and their homes, would be an extravagant supposi- 
tion ; because, barring accidents, it is not an unheard of thing for 
a shabby ship-master, sooner than be put to trouble, to be willing 
to leave a man or two behind, where they would never be heard of 
more, particularly if he owed them either a spite or a large balance 
of wages. And such as were not thus brought back again were 
made slaves, they and their posterity forever. Such were the 
police laws of South Carolina. 

There were some points of resemblance in the two cases, and 
some of difference. One of the principal differences was in the 
result. Qualla Battoo is in ruins, and Charleston stands to this 
hour. That the latter stands, is not through defect of right or 
power in the injured party. Right? "That may be called an 
equitable government," said an ancient sage, «< in which an injury 
to the humblest citizen is resented as if done to the whole State." 



4© THE SLAVE POWER. 

Power? Of the counties of Massachusetts, there are not less 
than four, any three of which have an aggregate population greater 
than the free population of all South Carolina, — brave, hardy men, 
who went to sciiool when they were boys, and go to church now 
they are grown up, with no domestic enemy to hamper them by 
their own beds and boards, with only love and loyalty on their 
hearth-stones. If there had been nothing to listen to but the 
maxims of harsher times, it would not have been six weeks after 
the first outrage, before it would either have been humbly atoned 
for, or a Massachusetts fleet would have been riding at the con- 
fluence of Ashley and Cooper Rivers, and Charleston would have 
been a heap of bloody ashes. 

Police laws, indeed ! Suppose the people of the Pepper Coast 
had said. We cannot get opium on the terms we like, without rob- 
bing your ships, and killing your people? What would our gov- 
ernment have replied ? Precisely what in substance it actually did ; 
Get your opium cheap, or get it dear, or go without it ; but touch 
a hair of the head of one or our people at your peril. And sup- 
pose the people of South Carolina say. We cannot have a comfort- 
able enjoyment of slavery, which makes cotton and rice for us to 
be rich and luxurious with, unless, for its security, we imprison, 
whip, and sell free men and women of other States, — what is the 
natural and due answer? Raise cotton and rice cheap, or raise 
them dear, or raise them not at all ; that is your affair ; but as to 
imprisoning, whipping, and selling our people, that, at all events, you 
are not to do. Have slaves among yourselves, and make slaves of 
one another, or not, as may suit yourselves ; but, at all events, 
make no slaves of us. We must come and go among you without 
molestation. If you say that these proceedings are essential to 
slavery, you only proclaim that the thing is too bad to be. Have a 
care that we do not take you at your word. If slavery be what you 
declare, slavery is a simply intolerable evil, and the whole civilized 
world, for its own safety, must combine for its extirpation. You 
only make out that its lair is a pirate's nest, and if so, it must be 
broken up forthwith, for the honor of humanity, and the quiet of 
decent people. 

But the folly of the measure is not less signal than its impudent 
wickedness. Requisite for self-preservation ? No such thing. 
Precaution ? No ; it is mere temper. It is only a spoiled child's 
rage. In the first place, they are not quite such arrant cowards as 
the plea pretends. Without entertaining any extravagant sense of 
the valor of the chivalry, or absolutely thinking them the fire-eaters 
that in one moment they profess to be, it would still be doing them 
sheer injustice to suppose that they are possessed by such craven 
alarms as, in the next breath, they put forward to excuse the bar- 
barity in question. And, if they are so frightened, why do they 
let free white men from Massachusetts go at large on their shore, 
any more than black ? Why do they not clap us in jail too, to be 



OUTRAGES ON NORTHERN VISITORS. 49 

ransomed out, or sold ? Do they suppose that white Massachusetts 
men are less dangerous than black, because they have less abolition- 
ism in them, or have less enterprise and contrivance to carry out an 
abolition scheme ? Why do they not take British colored seamen 
out of their ships ? Are British seamen less penetrated with aboli- 
tion sentiments, or less likely to express them, than their fellows 
from New England ? On the contrary, are they not ten times 
more so, from knowing they are subjects of a government that will 
not see them wronged ? The Charleston people tried it once or 
twice with them. But the British Lion, as he lay coiled up sleepily 
in Downing street, heard from across the water the words of exe- 
cration so familiar to his ear when any of his tars are in trouble, 
and he gave a growl and a snap,* and the Carolina people presently 
found out that it was perfectly safe to let British blacks come and 
go without hindrance or harm, even though they should be lately 
emancipated slaves from Barbadoes or Jamaica ; while they cannot 
see to this day that it is at all safe to take the same course with 
blacks frorli Massachusetts. And accordingly there have been 
cases in which Massachusetts freemen, fleeing in the harbor of 
Charleston to British vessels, have found that protection under a 
foreign flag which the laws of their own country did not avail to 
afford. 

The silly falsehood of its being a measure of self-preservation 
carries its refutation on its face. A poor fellow, shipping for 
Charleston from New England as steward or cook, will be pretty 
sure to let the people on shore alone, if they will only do the same 
kindness to him. He is trembling at the sight of his own shadow, 
all the time he is in port. He hardly gets his head out of the 
camboose for a glance at the prospect, or a fresh gulp of air. He 
sees no one come on. board that he does not turn blue with paleness 
lest the stranger should be for recognising him as the runaway Tom 
or Bill, who was raised by Colonel A. or the Reverend Mr. B. 
somewhere up the Santee or Edisto. Let him keep about his own 
business, Carolinians, and depend upon it he will not meddle with 
yours. But if you really want to make him dangerous, there is 
one effectual way to do it. Go on board the ship ; order him over 
the side ; row him on shore to jail. There he will be shut up with 
some hundreds of his own color, and they the most desperate 
characters of your city ; for of course it was not sober and exem- 
plary behavior that brought them together there. He will have 
facilities for a free, unrestricted, unwatched communication with 
them, night and day, such as no other place in Carolina would 
afford. If he is an abolitionist, put him there, and if he does not 
do his work thoroughly, he is a fool. If he is an abolitionist, and 
has any enterprise, you may chance to find that he has gone among 

* Letters of Mr. Canning and Mr. Add'aKfton to tlic Arncrican Secretary of State, 
Feb. 15th, 1823, and April 9th, 1324. 



50 THE SLAVE POWER. 

you for the very purpose of taking advantage of your stupid law, 
and being put by you in the very place where he could desire to be 
in order to hatch a conspiracy. The wisdom of the Southrons (as, 
in their poetical vein, they call themselves) is, in this matter, only 
equalled by their courage. Neither would be the worse for a little 
self-collectedness and dignity. 

We said there were some differences between the cases of South 
Carolina and Sumatra, Rigorously as our government saw fit to 
deal with Qualla Battoo, there was one thing about the matter that 
rather gravelled some of the more scrupulous civilians. We had 
no treaty with that amiable people. If they did not receive us to 
our mind, then, what breach of faith had we to punish ? But with 
South Carolina Massachusetts had a treaty. It is written in the 
iVmerican Constitution, and it stipulates, among other things, that 
" the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and im- 
munities of citizens in the several States." The people in question 
are our citizens. They were made so by the Massachusetts Con- 
stitution of 1780, of seven years earlier date than the Federal 
Constitution. Massachusetts never could, and never would, have 
given up the obligation of defending them, — by peaceable or by 
warlike protection, as the case might be. In the Federal Constitu- 
tion she resigned the right to fight for them when injured, but not 
without demanding and receiving what she understood to be full 
security in another form, and what would have been full security, if 
the most bare-faced perfidy had not cancelled it. In the Federal 
Constitution, she entered into a compact of perpetual amity with 
her sister States. She relinquished her right to " keep troops, or 
ships of war " for her defence against them, in case of any wrong, 
and agreed that, instead, she and they would submit any dispute 
that might arise, to a common peaceful arbiter, the Supreme Court 
of the Union. And she kept her own pledge sacredly, as became 
her. 

Mark the sequel. She receives that gross wrong at the hands of 
a sister State, which no community has endured, that has a name 
to live in history. Her citizens, without offence or allegation of 
any, are imprisoned, whipped, enslaved. Mindful of her faith and 
honor, — with all the right, and all the power to maintain it, — she 
seeks only peaceable redress. She calmly expostulates with the 
wrong-doer. Her remonstrances are thrown back with insult. She 
seeks the common inoffensive course for a legal remedy, but justice 
on the spot is stone deaf as well as blind, and she cannot get a 
hearing, nor, — such is the flagitious despotism of the public mad- 
ness, — so much as an advocate to tell her story. Yet she must 
not leave any amicable means untried. She sends one of her 
honorable citizens, — a man of admirable probity, sobriety, experi- 
ence, wisdom, — not to retort affront, not to threaten retaliation, 
not to exasperate bad and foolish passions already far too much in- 
flamed, but simply to go to law, to present himself in the Courts, 



OUTRAGES ON NORTHERN VISITORS. 51 

where it had been dreamed that any American citizen was free to 
go, and have the question, whether it was or was not true, as South 
CaroUna alleged, that citizens of Massachusetts might lawfully and 
rightfully be treated as they had been, — have this question, we say, 
quietly adjudicated by the authorized ministers of that Laiv, which 
is " the harmony of the world," and which must be the bond of 
this nation's peace and union, or there is none. 

The question now changes its phase. It is no longer the 
whipping and selling of black men. It is the expulsion, or worse, 
of a white one, and he a man, than whom a more worthy or hon- 
orable never trod that unhappy soil. Carolina flies upon him. 
The Governor cries havoc to the legislative power. The Adjutant 
General dashes down by rail-road from Columbia, with military 
orders in his pocket sufficient to take care of an unarmed Yankee. 
A city mob threatens his life. A sheriff' 's officer assaults him in 
the street. A company of Charleston gentlemen, and a procession 
of coaches, conduct him and his young daughter to a steam-boat 
about to depart. The vessel is seen fairly out of the harbor, and 
South Carolina breathes freely once more ; but not till she has 
passed an Act in five Sections, requiring the Governor, SherifTs and 
other magistrates to protect her for the future, by measures of 
extreme violence and indignity, from all dangerous persons who 
may think to go to law within her borders to keep honest northern 
visitors of questionable complexion out of jails, hand-cufTs, and 
slave-markets. 

Why amuse ourselves with the dream of the compacts or the 
powersof the Constitution affording us any protection against a faith- 
less State, when things like these are done? And, not by South 
Carolina alone. French, rigadooning Louisiana (hear it, ye stern 

shades of the Pilgrims ! ) imitated. Cherokee-hunting Georgia, 

repudiating Mississippi, — perhaps other States of equally spotless 
fame, — by set resolutions approved. Justice, humanity, every in- 
alienable prerogative which is man's by human birth-right, had been 
trampled on. The last remedy of States had been defied, in the 
consciousness of that impunity which the pledges of the injured 
party insured. The compacts of the Constitution had been in- 
iquitously violated. It is not we that say so. It is the whole 
honest world, out of the infected region. It is every man of not 
perverted mind, who has wit enough to read its simple lines. The 
only one of South Carolina's own sons, before whom the question 
ever came under proper official responsibility, said so in as emphatic 
terms as it is possible for any of us to use.* 

* "On tlie unconstitutionality of the law, under which this man is conjflned, it is 
not too much to say tliat it will not bear argument." — Opinion of Judo-e Jojinson 
of the Supreme Court of the United States, Aug. 7th, l!^33, in the case of Henry 
Elkison v. Francis Delicsscline, Sheriff of Charleston District. The indepen- 
dence asserted by South Carolina of any jurisdiction of the Federal power in tJie 
matter, is another point of resemblance to the Sumatra people. " That part of the 
4* 



52 • THE SLAVE POWER. 

What then ? Violent remedies ? Disunion ? Retaliation ? 
Prisons, stocks and lashes for South Carolinian travellers whom we 
may lay hands upon ? Such might be the answers, if we did not 
live in the peaceable and reasonable nineteenth century, and if 
Massachussetts were not loyal to the affronted Constitution. But 
no. These are barbarous expedients. Away with the thought of 
any such. The man or the State, that has right on its side, can 
afford to suffer indignity and wrong. They can afford not to be impa- 
tient for redress. There is one thing much stronger than the 
fiercest injustice ; and that is, the omnipotence of a righteous cause. 
Because there is a Providence above, and virtue in man, and a 
principle of good in affairs, therefore is it written with the certainty 
of fate, that violence and treachery sow the seeds of reparation and 
atonement. Time does not stop, and it will quickly enough do its 
office of bringing the fruit to ripeness. 

Meanwhile, as to our question. What has the North to do with 
the Slave Power? It has outrageously maltreated our citizens. It 
has refused us a peaceable arbitration of differences. We thought, 
fought, worked and prayed hard, to get a Constitution adequate for 
the protection of the rights, with which, as we understood the mat- 
ter, our Maker had invested us. The Slave Power has broken that 
Constitution down. Over a wide region, it has been made a dead 
letter, as far as our stipulated benefits from it are concerned. Have 
we nothing at all to do with that ? 



NO. XVI. 



ITS TYRANNY OVER THE NON-SLAVEHOLDERS OF THE 

SOUTH, 

In a few preceding papers has been considered, very cursorily 
and imperfectly, the impudent oppression exercised over us, the ten 
millions of people of the (so called) Free States, by the oligarchy 
composed of the one hundred thousand slave-holding voters. But 
bad as our case is, it is not nearly so bad as that of their five mil- 
lion non-slave-holding neighbors. The Slave Power administers 
both governments under which they live ; the State, as well as the 
national. For us, the State governments, which after all manage 
our dearest interests, are free from its loathsome and withering touch. 
For them, every thing is at the mercy of the usurpers. Their op- 
island is in the possession of the natives, who owe no particular allegiance to any- 
foreign power, and a very slight one, if any, to the King of Acheen, who does not 
hold himself responsible for their outrages. * * * * * Their arrogance and treachery 
have of late years increased, and their aggressions were countenanced before hand 
by some of those in authority [in the nation]." Reynolds's " Voyage of the Uni- 
ted States Frigate Potomac," p. 533. 



ITS OPPRESSION OF SOUTHERN NON-SLAVEHOLDERS. 53 

pression is far the most extreme and pitiable. They are not permit- 
ted by their masters even to know its baseness and ruin, and this is 
even the worst aggravation. But they will know it. They belong 
to our party, the party of the free ; and they will be found voting 
by our side. Theirs are the deepest wrongs, and from their awak- 
ened intelligence will come at length an effectual deliverance. 

The slave-holder comprehends this perfectly well, and that is the 
reason why he is so determined to smother the freedom of speech 
and of the press, and why the sacredness of the post-office is in- 
vaded, that no matter relating to human rights may be circulated 
through it. It is not that he is afraid of discussions of this sub- 
ject for the slave. The slave he well knows (thanks to his careful 
precautions !) cannot read them. To the slave the[»y have no more 
meaning than so much unprinted paper. But he fears them for his 
white non-slaveholding neighbors, whom he has to oppress in op- 
pressing the slave ; who can most of them read ; and who have the 
power to right themselves, when they come to comprehend their 
wrongs. It is the conscience, and sense of justice, and feeling of 
self interest, of the whites, that they fear lest we should reach.* 

The laboring man in Massachusetts has every reasonable oppor- 
tunity for improvement and advancement, that money could buy, or 
heart desire. Every thing there is in him has its fair chance to come 
out. Within convenient distance of his dwelling, is a school. The 
public keeps the best schools in the Commonwealth ; within its area 
of some 7800 square miles there are four or five thousand ; and ev- 
ery child has a legal right to be taught in them. Within two or 
three miles of every man's hearth' in Massachusetts, there is also a 
small select library, provided at^ the public charge. Intelligence 
comes with all this : and with it its beautiful train of order, industry, 
economy, thrift, self-respect, and mutual respect and kindness. La- 
bor is honorable and honored in all its forms, and its social position, 
' without any official advancement, is enough for a reasonable ambi- 
tion. There is not an honest man in Massachusetts who is out of 
place in any place of dignity within her borders. Every prize is 
free to merit. Merit has a fair field. God gives the talent ; the 
State provides the opportunities : earnest men apply the industry ; 
and the result constantly before our eyes is, the attainment, from the 
humblest walks, of the highest elevation and the most brilliant pros- 
perity. 

"" Something like this said, in the "United States Telegraph," Mr. Duff Green, than 
whom there can scarcely be a better authority on sucli a subject ; " We do not be- 
lieve that the abolitionists intend, nor could they, if they would, excite the slaves 
to insurrection. The danger of this is remote. We believe that we have most to fear 
from the organized action upon the consciences and fears of the slaveholders them 
selves ; from the insinuation of their dangerous heresies into our schools, our pulpits 
and our domestic circles. It is only by alarming the consciences of the weak and 
feeble, and diffusing, among our people a morbid sensibility, on the question of 
slavery, that the abolitionists can accomplish their object." Mr. Green understands 
this matter much better than some of the Northern writers. 



54 THE SLAVE POWER. 

Turn to the laboring freeman south of the Potomac, and if you 
care nothing about slaves, care for your own color. Cock-pits, bar- 
rooms, horse-racing abroad ; — squalidness, filth, scanty fare, shift- 
lessness, at home ; — a pile of hewn logs to live in, with the crev- 
ices stopped with mud, and a shingle chimney ; — no schools for the 
rude, unkempt children ; no church for the harassed wife ; no books 
by a comfortable fire-side ; no feeling of equality ; no dignity of man- 
hood ; no sense of consequence, except when an election comes 
round, and he goes to the County Seat, to be treated into a little 
more brutality, and give his vote for one or the other of the slave- 
holding candidates that band their forces to annoy us and ruin him. 
Of course, among persons so situated, there are those who overcome 
the unpropitious circumstarnjes of their position, and come out brave, 
intelligent, self-respecting men jiotwithstanding. But they will be 
the first to understand that they have not had fair play, and that 
their fellows are very foully used. 

Whose fault is it ? Their own ? Would they not like to do 
better ? Would they not like to change their condition for such a 
one as that of the industrious, intelligent, respected heads of fami- 
lies in our towns ? Whose fault is it ? Whose but that of their slave- 
holding neighbors, who, with a separate interest, take the power into 
their own hands, and use it for their oppression ; who could not, in 
such a state of society, provide the means of popular instruction, if 
they would ; who would not, if they could, because they could then 
no longer make the same profit as now, of the supineness, prejudi- 
ces, and passions of ignorance ; and who, by employing a kind of 
labor which they are at liberty to subject to all sorts of hardships and 
indignities, — whipping, branding, ironing, and selling at pleasure," 
— constitute an idle despotism the condition of honor, confound tpil 
with servitude, and make industrious usefulness a badge of dis- 
grace ?f : 

Reader, if you have ever been in the South, you understand the 
phrase, mean white men, originated perhaps by the negroes, but 
in use among their betters. It does not stand alone for slave- 
catchers and slave-sellers by trade, degraded and brutified libellers 
of humanity, whom all, masters and slaves alike, scorn and abhor. 
It does not include only the overseers, coarse ruffians too often, har- 
dened and irritated by their equivocal position, and wreaking with 
undiscriminating ferocity their vengeance for the contempt which 
they are conscious always attends their doubtful delegated power. 

* It is amusing to advert to the statistics we lately presented of the proportion 
of persons in tlie Slave States unable to read and write, and then remember the 
judicious glorification of Chancellor Harper, of South Carolina: " It is by the ex- 
istence of slavery, exempting so large a portion of our citizens from the necessity 
of bodily labor, that we have leisure for intellectual piirsuits" — (Southern Literarj' 
Messenger for October, 1838.) Probably nothing like the worst is recorded in 
the Census, on this subject. Governor Campbell of Virginia told his Legislature in 
1838, th^t it appeared from the returns of ninety-eight clerks, in the preceding year, 
that of 4614 applicants for marriage licenses, 1047 men could not write their names. 
Governor Hammond, of South Carolina, told his Legislature that the Common 
School System "is not suited to the genius of our people." 



ITS OPPRESSION OF SOUTHERN NON-SLAVEHOLDERS. 55 

A mea?i ivhite man, in a slave region, means every man who does not 
command the service of slaves. The masters look down upon him, 
and the slaves scarcely less. He is nobody's equal, except on the 
eve of an election. He is nobody's equal, then, any further than 
the need of his most sweet voice enforces an affected familiarity 
which to a noble mind would seem more offensive than insult. 
Small farmers working wnth their own hands on their own land, 
there are few or none. The culture of the country is carried on 
upon extensive estates, with machinery requiring large investments. 
Day labor on the properties of other men is not to be had. They 
would not consent themselves to plough and hoe in the same furrows 
with a degraded caste ; and if they would, the masters do not want 
them. Mechanics there are few, and they of the most inferior kinds. 
If a Louisiana planter wants his broken-down coacl^ mended, he 
must ship it to New York. A mechanic, hearing of the scarcity of 
industrious and capable people of his craft, and tempted by the 
prospect of high wages, comes to seek his fortune in such a region. 
Before ten or five years have passed, he has probably ieft his natu- 
ral and proper way to competency and standing, and passed off in 
one or the other of two directions. He has either invested his first 
earnings in three or four negroes, and set up for a half-built, shift- 
less gentleman, or has broken down before arriving at this point, and 
joined the ragged company of loafers, who, because they are free- 
men, are too good to work. Or if he must do something to hve, 
but cannot rein in his pride to work were there are rich white men 
and poor blacks to witness his dishonor, he has taken himself and 
his to the solitude of some Chuzzlewit's Garden of Eden, — over- 
flowed a good part of the year, — and there, aguish and musquito- 
bitten, with his boat made fast to his door, in readiness to escape 
the flood, has become the gaunt, dismal monarch of all he surveys, 
the lonely lord of an acre or two of corn and some poultry, and of a 
wood-pile for the supply of the passing steamboats, which keep up 
his communication with mankind, and find him in pork and whiskey. 

No community can be prosperous, where honest labor is not hon- 
ored. No society can be rightly constituted, where the intellect is 
not fed. Whatever institution reflects discredit on industry, what- 
ever institution forbids the general culture of the understanding, is 
palpably hostile to individual rights, and to social well-being. 

That institution in the South is Slavery. There are four classes 
of persons, who are greatly interested for its overthrow ; 1. We of 
the North, whom through its political action it has shamefully wrong- 
ed ; 2. The slave-holders themselves, as in due time we propose to 
show ; .3. The non-slave-holders of the South, whom, as an infe- 
rior caste, it condemns to degradation and imbecility ; and 4. The 
poor negroes. Of these four classes, the Southern non-slave-holders 
are the greatest sufferers from it, except the slaves. Our wrongs, 
thougli, from our position, we may have more perception and resent- 
ment of them, are in fact inconsiderable in comparison. 



56 THE SLAVE POWER. 



NO. XVII. 

IT EXISTS BY THE SUFFERANCE OF THE SOUTHERN 
NON-SLAVEHOLDERS. 

The Richmond Whig of the 19th of August, referring to the 
humble labors of this press, expresses the opinion that, if they 
" should be sanctioned by the Whig party of the North, there will 
not be long a Whig party at the South at all ; " and, " if ever the 
Whigs of the North shall surrender themselves to their guidance, 
they may rest assured that the party ties which now bind us to- 
gether will be forever dissolved. It will no longer be a war of par- 
ties, but of sections, and when that battle is to be fought, the South- 
ern Whigs will be found under the Southern flag." 

Is not this modest ? Who constitute that Whig party of the 
South, whifth is to be annihilated after this fashion ? Whig slave- 
holders ? Probably they make less than one-seventh part of it. 
There are about one hundred thousand slaveholding voters in the 
whole fourteen Slave States. When the Whigs manage to be one- 
half of them, which is not very often, then there is in those States 
an aggregate of fifty thousand Whig slave-holders' votes. Should 
what the Richmond Whig so fearfully deprecates ever come to pass, 
and Whig principles at the North be fully identified with free prin- 
ciples, it might lead to this enormous loss of strength in the national 
Whig vote of a million and a half. Why, in Massachusetts alone 
we have not far from fifty thousand democratic voters ; but, with the 
blessing of Providence, the freemen of Massachusetts alone contrive 
to keep them in a hopeless minority. 

The Richmond editor thinks that, when the Southern Whig 
slave-holders are dissatisfied by an adherence to Whig principles at 
the North, such as they cannot make up their own minds to imitate, 
they will be able to swamp the Southern Whig party. We make free 
to tell him, that herein he is utterly mistaken. We are bold to say, 
that never did partisan wiseacre make a falser calculation. Many 
of the Southern (so called) Whigs may go over to the other side ; 
they will have no great distance to travel; — but in the mean- 
time will have sprung up a large, brave, honest, available Whig 
party in that region, such as has been hitherto unknown, since 
slavery began to practice her sorceries. The Southern non-slave- 
holders belong of right to our party, — the party of the free. That 
is their natural position, and- they are on their way to find it. The 
same abominable power which annoys us, and insults humanity, 
grinds them in the dust ; spurns their honorable industry ; dashes 
the bread of the intellect and the soul from their lips. They are 
about to understand this. And when they do, the Richmond 
Whig will find out by convincing tokens whether there can be a 
Southern Whig party after the North has come to be true to itself. 



SOUTHERN WHIG PARTY. 57 

Many of the Southern Whig party are as little satisfied with its 
former leaders as we at the North with some of ours, and for the 
same reason. But the Southern leaders are not the party, and a 
change of them may perchance bring something very different from 
ruin. 

At present, it is only in an exceedingly qualified sense, that there 
can be said to be more than one party south of the Potomac. The 
sub-party of the ins, and that of the outs, both belong, under their 
present leaders, to the party of Slavery. The one is in the habit 
of sustaining better men than the other, but as to their political 
principles, and their action on great measures, — Tros Tyriusve, — 
Whig or Loco Foco, — it does not much matter which you call 
them. In respect to what great question have not our calculations 
on Southern Whig aid in Congress misled and bogged us ? In any 
pinch, when has not our reliance on Southern Whig votes proved a 
broken reed ? Enough havfe generally remained on our side to join 
in our wail for the disappointment, but enough have generally gone 
over, — were more or fewer wanted, — to beat us in the vote. Of 
what earthly use to any cause, measure, party or thing, that calls 
itself Whig, are such Whigs as Mr. Hilliard of Alabama, and Mr. 
Jarnagin of Tennessee ? They are Hushais in our Camp. If 
skilled in any thing, it is " to perplex and dash maturest counsels." 
There was not Whig doctrine enough in them even to sustain the 
Tariff of 1842, when the measure hung on the latter's single vote. 
No matter about Mr. Jarnagin, in particular. If he had not been 
on hand, to judge from past experience, the business would 
have been as effectually done by some other similar secession. 
When did a cardinal measure, identified in the popular apprehen- 
sion with a triumph of the Slave Power, fail to be accomplished by 
Southern Whig votes, if it could not be accomplished without 
them ? Will any body give us a definition of a Southern Whig, 
applicable to the year 1846 ? Of course, it must be broad enough 
to include Mr. Jarnagin, of Tennessee, whose vote passed Mr. 
Secretary Walker's anti-Tariff bill, and Mr. Berrien of Georgia, of 
the majority of the Committee that brought Texas into the Union 
on the Pilgrim Fore-fathers' Day. 

Should a free expression of the principles of freemen "be sanc- 
tioned by the Whig party of the North, there will not be long," 
thinks the Richmond Whig, " a Whig party in the South at all." 
We entertain precisely the opposite opinion. We conceive that as 
the Whig North becomes in political action more true to its profes- 
sions, there will be organized at the same time, at the South, a far 
larger party of true-hearted, earnest, substantial Whig patriots than 
has existed since the time of Washington. Just so far as we have 
been untrue to our princi[)les, and played a cowardly game into the 
hands of slave-holders, we have given our aid to keep down, in ig- 
norance and im{)otcncc, that vast body of freemen at the South, 
our natural allies, and establish in their place a greedy power, alike 
hostile to us and them. 



58 THE SLAVE POWER. 

Of the three millions, more or less, of voters in the United 
States, every man except some hundred thousand, is interested for, 
and would have his condition materially improved by, the overthrow 
of the Slave Power. These hundred thousand slaveholding voters 
control the government of fourteen States, ahd through them the 
government of the Union. And yet they constitute an exceedingly 
small minority, not only as compared with us,' the freemen of the 
North, or with the negroes whom they hold in bondage, — neither 
of which classes can legally interfere with their political action in 
their States, — but also as compared with their non-slaveholding 
fellow-citizens, a class which shares with them the political fran- 
chise, and "which suffers far more from their despotic mis-govern- 
ment than any other class except the wretched negroes. 

In 1840, a census was taken by the authority of the Federal 
Government, and in the same year there was an animated Presiden- 
tial election, which drew out a large vote. The free population of 
the Slave States, in that year, according to the enumeration, was 
4,809,187. In the same year, the number of votes for Electors of 
President in those States (with the exception of South Carolina, 
which did not choose Electors by popular vote, but by the Legisla- 
ture,) was 693,434. Supposing the proportion of voters to free 
population to have been the same in South Carolina as in the other 
Slave States, her voters, in a free population of 267,350, would 
have been 40,820 ; which number, added to the 693,434, gives an 
aggregate of 734,254 Southern voters. Of these, about 100,000 
were owners of slaves. That is, in the Slave States themselves, 
the non-slaveholding exceeded the slaveholding voters in the pro- 
portion of more than six to one. 

Now, if there be any truth whatever in the view, presented in 
our last number, of the depressed and oppressed condition of free 
working men in the Slave States, such vexations, disabilities, and 
wrongs, along with such power to redress them, are not going to 
last forever. The slaveholder does his best to perpetuate his base- 
less and precarious rule. He knows that he can only keep his 
power by emasculating the non-slaveholding freemen around him. 
He blinds and he stimulates them. He will give no schools to their 
children. He keeps them in an ignorance which would make it 
ridiculous for them to aspire to those places of public trust in which 

they' might become dangerous to his views.* He plays upon their 

» 

* According to the census of 1840, the "scholars at public charge " in the Free 
States, numbered 432,173; in the Slave States, 35,580. Young Ohio had 51,812, 
nearly fifty per cent, more than the whole of them ; Kentucky, 429. Virginia, the 
largest State, had 9,791 ; Rhode Island, the smallest, 10,912. 

What comes of this want.? Poverty of spirit, as well as barrenness of mind. 
Governor Metcalf, of Kentucky, in early life a stone-mason, afterwards a landed 
proprietor and slave-holder, is said to have made a great hit for popularity by an act 
of flattering recognition of his former craft. It happened that, at the time he was 
canvassing the State, the great Court House at Louisville was building. He went 
into the yard, and hammered some stone, and carried the votes of the masons with 



SOUTHERN WHIG PARTY. 



59 



sectional prejudices, and inflames the coarse unpatriotic passions 
that will serve his ends. Freedom of speech and of the press 
among them might soon bring them to an intelligence, and to con- 
clusions', too threatening to his objects ; so he throws dust in their 
eyes, and seduces them to part with these inestimable blessings of 
their birth-right, lest an insurrection of the slaves should follow 
from discussions which the slaves do not hear and cannot read. 

But the spell is broken. This is not to be much longer. Brave 
men, who have not yet learned one-t^nth part of their single power, 
are starting up in the slave States, to stand for freedom, and the 
rights of their much-injured class. Cassius M. Clay's paper, now 
transferred to hands not less able, and more true, is doing a great 
and blessed work in Kentucky. It is now passing through a crisis, 
but there can be only one result. The slaveholders have conspired 
in some parts of the State, to prevent its circulation. But they had 
better stop where they are ; they may go further, and fare worse. 
The hardy working men have got fair hold of it, and it of them ; 
and (thank God !) it is now a death-grasp, which neither guile nor 
force of slaveholders will any longer be able to loose. The same 
spirit is spreading in Western Virginia and Eastern Tennessee. It 
is kindled in North Carolina. Already it flames broad and bright 
in Maryland. That revolution is well begun, — its critical period 
is well nigh passed, — which is the surest of all never to go back- 
ward. 

Some States — Mississippi, Alabama, Texas (if Texas be a State), 
— ^by way of making assurance doubly sure, have introduced pro- 
visions into their Constitutions, hampering their own Legislatures as 
to the power of dealing with this subject. But it will not all do. 
Constitutions, as well as Legislatures, are the creation of the popu- 
lar will ; and when free Southern working-men get their eyes open 
to their rights and wrongs. Constitutions, whenever there is need, 
will take a new shape accordingly. Justice, enthroned in the pop- 
ular mind, has an orderly way to do its work of hamstringing 

a rush. The incident shows the self-respect of the electors, quite as little as the 
candidate's good taste. 

" 'Tis a stupid kind of cattle, 

Can be caught with mouldy corn." 

Imagine such a stage-play to be enacted in Massachusetts, by any of her noble men 
who have risen to high station by virtuous industry. Imagine Samuel Appleton 
handling the scythe, or Charles Wells the trowel, or Samuel T. Armstrong taking 
a spell at the printing press, or William Sturgis at the capstan-fAar, to help an elec- 
tion. Suppose it possible they should think of the thing, — which it is not, — who 
would there be to be practised upon by such a humbug? What would they get for 
their pains, but one universal guffaw of laughter.^ " Do you want to show Us that 
you think there is nothing discreditable in our honest trade, to put us below such a 
great man as you .'' We never thought there was ; and if you suppose we did, and 
tbat your condesceriding lesson on that subject is any gratification to us, you are too 
great a blockhead for us to vote for." That would be the substance of the answer. 



60 THE SLAVE POWER. 

abuses, despite all the artificial defences that selfish cunning may 
have donned. 

" Stirrup, steel-boot, and culsh give way 
Beneath that blow's tremendous sway." 

The Southern gentlemen comprehend this quite as well as we do. 
"Ten long years of anxious sorrow" have passed since Mr. Nich- 
olas, in the Kentucky Legislature, opposed the calling of a Conven- 
tion to revise the Constitution, because, he said, the question of 
slavery will be brought up. and " the slaveholders in the State do 
not stand in the ratio of more than one to every six or seven." 
Yes, above all things let the slaveholders beware of popular conven- 
tions for revising Constitutions. Especially let such a measure be 
eschewed by the Richmond Whig and its compatriots ; for, when- 
ever there is a popular convention in Virginia, there will be a new 
distribution of power between the country east and west of the Blue 
Ridge, and after that is done, Virginia slavery may fold its robes and 
prepare to fall with decency. 

Meanwhile, previously to, and independently of, any alteration of 
the organic laws, the great question of the age cannot long fail to 
force its way into the Southern Legislatures. W^ith a majority of 
more than a half a million of votes in the slave country, it cannot 
be that the injured non-slaveholders will allow themselves always to 
be unheard. In some districts, the disproportion of blacks to whites 
is such as to give to non-slaveholders an immense majority, and an 
entirely undisputed control at elections ;* and it cannot be long before 
such districts, at least, will be represented by persons able to under- 
stand, and to stand up for, the rights of the white worJcing-man. The 
question of popular education is already raised in some of the Slave 
States. That question cannot be long mooted, before the low con- 
dition, — rather the non-existence, — of such education, will be traced 
to its cause. That cause, that essential, omnipotent, all-deadly 
cause, — is. Slavery. So long as the black working man is held in 
bondage, just so long will and must the white working man be held 
in miserable darkness and bondage of the mind. The momentous 
issue will soon be seen to be, continued and increased degression q/ 
the non-slaveholding freeman, or manumission for the Slave. 

They must be courageous men who shall first proclaim that truth, 
in the face of the over-bearing will and marshalled energy of the Slave 
Power.f They must be men willing to risk their living and their lives. 
But there are brave spirits among the white laborers of the South, that 
know something of " the might that slumbers in a peasant's arm," 
and in what are better, a peasant's mind, soul, pen and tongue. 

* In 1840, the whites were to the slaves, in Seavey county, Arkansas, as 311 to 1 ; 
in Brook county, Virginia, as 85 to 1 ; in Taney county, Missouri, as 80 to 1 ; in 
Morgan county, Kentucky, as 74 to 1. 

t " Let us declare through the public journals of our country, that the question of 
slavery is not, and shall not, be open to discussion ; that the system is too deep- 
rooted among us, and must remain forever 5 that the very moment any private indi- 



SOUTHERN WHIG PARTY. 61 

They will proclaim the truth. They cannot be stopped from doing 
it. And when proclaimed in the right quarters, it will be widely 
recognised. And backed by a peaceful force of six to one, the 
event cannot long be doubtful. The Richmond Whig need be un- 
der no concern about the submersion of the Southern Whig party, 
on account of any greater vitality acquired by the free sentiments 
of the Whig creed. 

If this way of thinking of ours is correct, it settles agreeably one 
or two questions. 

In the first place, what the Richmond Whig says, that there " will 
no longer be a wax- of parties, but. of sections," will not be true, but 
the diametrical opposite of truth. The free men of both South and 
North, who place their poiiit of honor in working in some depart- 
ment, and doing something useful for themselves, their families, and 
their day and generation, will have a sympathy together, and a mu- 
tual respect, which has never yet united them. The tyrannous dom- 
ination of the Slave Poiver, building up a noxious element of dis- 
content and dissension in one quarter, — this it is that has made 
sectional differences. Take that away, and the good and wise in 
the different quarters will band themselves into one great national 
party of the Federal Constitution, and bring all sections and all 
interests into harmony. 

In the second place, the business of abolition will be done by the 
proper constitutional hands. When the vast Southern majority of 
non-slaveholders have come to see how immensely it is their inter- 
est to abolish the evil that crushes out their moral life-blood, and 
how irresistible is their power to abolish it, the thing will be done, 
resolutely, but wisely and' safely, as by those who, from personal 
experience, know thoroughly the exigencies of the case, and have 
the deepest stake in a quiet and prosperous result. It will be done 
by those who are able by peaceable voting and influence to coerce 
the masters, and at the same time, if need be, to protect them by 
controlling the slaves.* 

If we may give a word of counsel to the masters, it shall be to 
point out in what quarter lies the real peril of their usurped power. 
It is a small matjpr to silence, disarm, and stultify black working 
men. That is but boys' play. If, in these critical times, they mean 
to do any thing to the purpose, let them take the bull by the horns, 
and silence, stultify, and banish their white working fellow-citizens. 
But unless we err, it is late in the day for that operation. The real 

vidual attempts to Iccturcjis upon its evils and immorality, and the necessity of put- 
lino- means in operation to secure us from them, in the same moment his tongue 
shall be cut out, and cast upon the dunghill." So said the ''Columbia (South Caro- 
lina) Telescope." The echo of the "Missouri Argus" was: "Abolition editors in the 
Slave States will not dare to avow their opinions. It will be instant death to them." 
* "There is only one proper and effectual mode by which it [tiie abolition of sla- 
very] can be accomplished, and that is by legislative authority ; and this, as far as my 
suffrage will go, shall never be wanting." — George Washington. See letter to 
Robert Morris, dated 12lh of April, 17b6, in Sparks's edition, Vol. IX, page 159. 



62 THE SLAVE POWER. 

Whig party among them, is in a fair way to be too clear-headed and 
strong for the plan to be thought, of. 



NO. XVIII. 

WHO WILL BE HARMED BY ITS OVERTHROW ? 

Certainly not the freemen of the North. Certainly not the non- 
slaveholding freemen of the South. Certainly not the slaves. And, 
as certainly, not the masters. 

The highest interest of every man is his own character; — not his 
reputation, but his character. Nothing concerns a man so much as 
to avoid doing wrong. I can encounter no calamity so great as that 
of treating my brother wickedly. For that misfortune nothing can 
remunerate me. I shall do well to escape it by any sacrifice. 

The slaveholder's life is a life of utter and perpetual injustice. 
The worst wrongs to which men are subject from their fellow man, 
he is day by day inflicting. He lives on their unpaid toil ; he shuts 
against them the book of knowledge ; he prevents them from the ex- 
ercise of any virtue, except honesty and patience ; he makes their 
intercourse together that of brutes, and forbids them to be in any 
reasonable sense of the words husbands and wives, parents and chil- 
dren ; he fills their lives with hopelessness and wo. 

He is sometimes refined and humane, you say. Very well. Then 
he is all the more susceptible of these considerations, and the more 
incapable of sitting down with an easy mind so long as the institu- 
tion lives. For then he sees the more clearly its essential, inherent, 
ineradicable enormities. And he sees that, whatever may be his 
own disposition to mitigate them, one of the very evils of the con- 
dition is to prevent that disposition from prevailing to any great ex- 
tent. He sees that one neighbor is avaricious, or intemperate, or 
spiteful, and then he will over-work, and half-clothe, and half-starve 
his negroes, or lacerate them with whips, irons, cat-hauling, and 
other tortures, at his wicked will ; and that another is absent or in- 
dolent, and turns them over to the mercies of some gross savage, 
called an overseer ; and that another is licentious, and then wo to 
the living chattels of his domestic sty. He considers that he him- 
self is to die, and may be unfortunate first, and then what may be- 
come of the helpless dependents, whom he was inclined humanely 
to care for ? In other words, what sort of security have they in his 
individual good sense and good will ? 

And he reflects, with bitter misgivings, that he is not even their 
master, so far as to be at liberty to consult his own kind feelings as 
to the amount of kindness he may do them. The stern hlacl<: code 



POSITION OF THE SLAVE HOLDER. 63 

is the fierce master, to which he is himself in iron bonds. It fastens 
its fangs upon him more sharply than he is willing to do upon his 
blacks. It will not allow him to allow them to go free. It will not al- 
low him to allow them to learn to read. It will not allow him to allow 
them to rise from being male and female beasts to be men and women. 
It represses and makes penal his humanity, while it annihilates theirs. 
Talk of being a master, indeed, under such circumstances! Talk 
of chivalrous spirit and independence ! Talk of even such dignity 
as may belong to despotism ! Why, the veriest wretch in a rice 
ditch, under an August sun, all one broil and fesier from his recent 
scoring, is not so abject and pitiable a slave as the poor creature 
whom he calls his master. He is forced to suffer wrong in plenty, 
but not to do it. The slavery he is under, says to him perempto- 
rily. You must be wretched ; but it does not say. You must be pi- 
tiless and cruel. That intensest degradation and slavery is re- 
served for his owner. The heaviest tasked and most insulted slave 
in our slave country is the slave's lord. 

There are men in the slave States, — slaveholders, — who feel 
the ineffable degradation of this position. Not only conscientious 
men, who abhor the injustice, but spirited men, who cannot brook 
the shame, are chafing impatiently under the yoke they wear, felt 
by them to be heavier and more dishonorable than that which they 
impose. They see their case themselves, and how ludicrously it 
belies that large prating, in the Bobadil vocabulary of honor, in 
which they have been wont to indulge. They perceive that others 
see their case also, and this renders them yet more uneasy. By all 
civilized communities except Brazil and the Spanish Colonies fif 
they be strictly within that pale), slavery and slaveholders are com- 
ing more and more to be treated like the luke-warm church in the 
third chapter of the Revelation ; even the Bey of Tunis declines 
all relations with them, " for the honor of humanity, and that men 
may be distinguished from brutes." Right-minded persons of their 
number are distressed by this the more, in proportion as they see 
cause to acknowledge the justice of the sentence. Proud men, 
right-minded or not, cannot put it by with any affected unconcern. 
The sense of civilized and Christian man is as all-pervading as grav- 
itation. Augur may keep augur in countenance a little while, and 
so may slave-holder slave-holder. But the consciousness of a false 
position is a perpetual distress. Monstrari digito, to be marked in 
other circles for an odious peculiarity, is just the more vexatious and 
intolerable, in proportion to the vaunts of consequence, and claims 
to observance, to which the party has been used. Many a slave- 
holder is sensitive to the discredit, who is not properly apprehensive 
of the wrong, and would be but too happy to take a fair place in 
the creditable world, cleansed from the nastily adhesive stigma. 

After a man's own character, his next most anxious considera- 
tions are for his family. What a lot, for a reflecting parent to 
think of, to be obliged, by the necessity of the social system about 



64 THE SLAVE POWER. 

him, to bring up children in idleness, and contempt for useful em- 
ployment, in the culture and exercise of the most boisterous passions,. 
and exposed to the infinite bad example and temptation belonging 
to a household served by slaves ! Read the lesson of the sagacious 
and experienced slave-holder, Jefferson, on this subject, recorded at 
a time when the evil was vastly less appalling, because less self- 
developed and less actively all-penetrating than at the present day. 
" The child * * * * nursed, educated, and daily exercised 
in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. 
The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals 
undepraved by such circumstances." 

Mr. Jefferson's abrogation of the Law of Primogeniture has 
scarcely begun to do its work till this generation. It and Slavery 
are now working together in Virginia. A family is brought up, waited 
upon by slaves, and enervated and vitiated by intercourse with 
them, — the slave boys for their companions, and the slave girls 
constantly in their way, and altogether too much at their mercy. 
By and by the father dies, and the land and the hundred negroes, 
more or less, are divided equally among the children. The sons 
cannot live, — at all events, as they have been used to living, — on 
a piece of exhausted tobacco land, with a dozen or two of hands to 
till it. The professions are full ; the trades are too vulgar for them ; 
they have no way to get a subsistence. They sell off the human 
stock to Mississippi, Alabama, or Texas, and live on the proceeds 
as long as they last, and then become borrowing loafers about the 
Court House tavern, or take their departure for parts unknown. 
Or they carry to the Capitol their only capital, long so well accredit- 
ed there, of " belonging to one of the first families in Virginia," 
get some small clerkship in some of the public offices, dress, drink, 
drab, and play to the limit of their slender salary, and so come to 
the 

" last scene of all 
That shuts this strange eventful history, 
In second childishness, and mere oblivion." 

There are estimable youth in the slave-holding families of that 
region, that take neither of these courses, nor any thing like them. 
But the tendency of the deplorably vicious social system to multiply 
such histories, is too strong for a right-minded parent to contemplate 
without bitter anxiety. 

In fact, there is many an anxious heart of fathers and mothers 
in slave-holders' dwellings, daily and nightly brooding over these 
evils ; and greatly welcome will be the relief to many a troubled 
breast, when the time comes for children to be bred in industry, and 
in exemption from corrupting domestic influences, and when "the 
freeman, whom the truth makes free," can say. Poor or rich, what 
I have is my own, the earning of my mind or my hands : the bread 



UNEASINESS OF THE SLAVE COUNTRY. 65 

I and mine eat, whether in plenty or penury, is not the bread of 
violence. No tears and blood of wretched vassals, leaven and 
sour it. No scarred, fettered, and imbruted image of God dragged 
itself forlorn along the furrow that bore it to me. Then 

" He can look the whole world in the face, 
For he owes not any man." 

Now he owes every man, woman, and child whom the God-afFronting 
law calls his own, and owes them far more for their wrongs and sor- 
rows than Spanish mines could pay. To be delivered from the 
necessity of running any further in such a debt, will be an unspeak- 
ably joyous emancipation, to many a spirit that now muses and sighs 
in secret. 



NO. XIX. 

WHO WILL BE HARMED BY ITS OVERTHOW ? — PRUDENTIAL 
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE SLAVE HOLDER. 

A Slaveholding community lives in perpetual uneasiness and 
alarm. The master's house on a plantation is a little citadel, armed 
in preparation for the worst. The negroes must not meet in assem- 
blies for religious purposes, except under strict restraints. They 
must not leave the estate where they belong, without a pass. In the 
cities, the drums beat at nine o'clock ; the guards take their stations ; 
and the blacks must house themselves for the night. In the midst 
of Charleston, is a sort of castellated building, provided for a place 
of refuge to the inhabitants in case of an outbreak. Every thing 
betokens a never-sleeping vigilance against apprehended assaults 
from a desperate domestic enemy. 

What comfort can there be in living so ? It would be disagreea- 
ble enough to be always on the-look out for an invasion from abroad ; 
but to pass life in continual apprehension of murderous foes in one's 
kitchen, hall, and bed-chamber, is incomparably a more unenviable 
lot. " A state of military preparation,'' said Governor Hayne, to 
the South Carolina Legislature, in 1833, " must always be with us 
a state of perfect domestic security. A profound peace, and conse- 
quent apathy, may expose us to the danger of domestic insurrection." 
" We of the South," says the Maysville Intelligencer, " are emphati- 
cally surrounded by a dangerous class of beings, — degraded and 
stupid savages, who, if they could but once entertain the idea that 



66 THE SLAVE POWER. 

immediate and unconditional death would not be their portion, 
would re-enact the St. Domingo tragedy." 

Bad as the case is already, it is in some quarters becoming con- 
stantly worse. In 1790, the slaves were, in South Carolina, about 
two-fifths of the population ; and in North Carolina, about one 
quarter. In 1840, they were in South Carolina far more than half, 
and in North Carolina nearly one-ihird ; while in Mississippi they 
have increased from three-eights of the population in 1800 to more 
than half in 1840. The annual increase of slaves in the vi'hole 
country is estimated at from seventy-five to eighty thousand, equal 
to one tenth part of the population of Massachusetts. If the dan- 
ger is already great from such a host of domestic enemies, what is 
time doing witii it ? 

Yet so marvellously Boeotian, so fatly stupid is the infatuation on 
this subject, that you hear sensible people talk as if there would be 
danger in unlocking the fetters of these millions of victims, while the 
course of safety is in holding them in continued bondage by all the 
means of outrageous violence necessary to effect that object. As if, 
on any known principles of human nature, such a multitude could 
never be provoked to resistance and vengeance as long as you treat- 
ed them grossly ill, but the moment you did them justice, and con- 
ferred upon them the boon of all blessings that the heart of man 
most longs to possess, that moment they would turn upon you, and 
make you and yours the victims of their unpitying rage. 

Whether, and how far, the throwing off of this intolerable load 
may involve sacrifices of property, are questions which may be con- 
sidered hereafter. But it will involve no sacrifices of peace and 
personal safety. That is all a craven and senseless alarm. The 
whites in the fourteen Slave States are as yet more numerous than the 
slaves in the prof)ortion of five to three, if that were the only con- 
sideration ; and in only two of those States, South Carolina and 
Mississippi, do the blacks constitute the majority of the population. 
Most of the Slave country is flat, affording no advantages of position 
to counterbalance that of numbers. But the decisive consideration 
is, the superior intelligence, organization, and resources of the whites, 
affording them perfect security even against greatly superior num- 
bers. As long as the provocations of slavery continue, there may 
be hazard of passionate and desperate insurrections, which may do 
much mischief before they are suppressed. But no motive, short of 
the fury of anger and despair, could be sufficient to marshal an op- 
position to the concentrated and disciplined power of the white 
people ; and the possibility of any impulse of that sort would be 
done away, as soon as the boon of liberty, — all that it would aim 
at, — had been freely bestowed. 

But what seems matter of such easy demonstration has been at 
length proved in the experiment, and so well that it is now no better 
than impertinence to hold the opposite argument. On the one day 



SAFETY OF EMANCIPATION. 67 

of August 1st, 1834, eight hundred thousand slaves were set free 
in nineteen English colonies of the West Indies. Many of their 
masters had affected to portend all the horrors that the fancies of 
American masters picture at the present time. Nothing short of 
sweeping in a flood of havoc over the islands, burning the planta- 
tions, and carrying murder and nameless outrages into every dwell- 
ing, it was said, would suffice to surfeit the hoarded vengeance of 
years. But not an act of violence stained that magnificent triumph 
of Christianity and freedom. Universally the hearts of the poor 
emancipated creatures were big with gratitude, not with fury. Di- 
lated with love for the partners, children, and homes they might 
henceforward call their own, their bosoms had no room for hatred 
of the oppressor whose rod was now broken ; and from that day to 
this, twelve years, there has been no insurrection or violence of 
the laborers, but on the contrary, a peaceable and orderly condition 
of things which would do honor to any civilized community. 

The experiment in the British West Indies was made under no 
peculiarly favorable circumstances. On the contrary, in the island of. 
Jamaica, in particular, which contained half the slaves, some of the 
circumstances were as unpropitious as could well be. Four hundred 
thousand blacks against forty thousand Europeans, the latter would 
have been but a mouthful for their vindictive appetite. The chain 
of high mountains, which runs through the centre of the island, 
offers fastnesses which would have fully compensated to insurgents 
any want of military skill. Nor had unnecessary provocation been 
wanting. The ill-advised planters of Jamaica had done all in' their 
power to resist and thwart the generous policy of the mother gov- 
ernment. Nothing had been done by them to conciliate their bond- 
men against the critical day of liberty, but the reverse. It was 
hardly possible to submit to an unwelcome necessity with a worse 
grace. To the last hour they did much of what was in their power to 
tempt vengeance, but they did it all in vain. 

Whether there is danger in the present state of things in our 
Slave States, let all judge who know the facts. It is a subject we 
cannot bear to pursue. But in the process of emancipation there 
is no danger. That is a certain course of safety, for the present 
and the future. 



5* 



68 THE SLAVE POWER. 



NO. XX. 



tvHO WILL BE HARMED BY ITS OVERTHROW ? — ECONOMICAL 
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE SLAVEHOLDER. 

Mr. Clay said, in a famous speech, that the value of slaves in the 
Union was twelve hundred millions of dollars; and how, he asked, 
could it be expected that the South would ever consent to sacrifice 
that vast amount of property by emancipation? 

We hold this view to be demonstrably and utterly false. More ; 
we hold that emancipation would be a good economical operation. 

1. Why is a slave of any value ? He is good for nothing, merely 
as a slave. His bones and muscles are worthless to you, indepen- 
dently of the use you can put them to. He is of value, because he 
is a machine for raising sugar, tobacco, rice, or cotton. His value 
represents the net proceeds of his labor, — neither more nor less. 

2. " But we get his labor without wages." No, you do not. 
You do not call what you pay him ivages. Bui you pay him, in 
kind, food and clothing for himself and his family, which food and 
clothing hired laborers use their wages to buy. We find the aver- 
age cost of supporting slaves rated at a dollar a week, or fifty dol- 
lars a year. That estimate is probably too high, but the amount is 
of no consequence to our argument. At all events, you give him 
something, to keep him alive and in working condition. You have 
to give him something ; else he would die ; and there would be the 
end of your property in him. 

3. It is ruinous economy to give small pay for the grudged and 
clumsy labor of a slave, instead of giving larger for the cheerful and 
intelligent labor of a freeman. We of the North, who have the 
credit of knowing about these things as well as most people, under- 
stand perfectly well that we cannot afford to pay low wages. Low 
wages buy only unskilful service. A farm, or a factory, or a shop, 
involves an investment of capital. It does not answer for us to have 
the interest running on, without employing the best kind of labor 
we can procure, so as to get back the best return. Good labor 
costs more money ; but to pay it, we find to be the only good thrift. 
We cannot afford to have every thing continually getting out of or- 
der, for want of skill, economy, forethought, and management in the 
operatives. We cannot afford to have the master constantly har- 
assed and taken off" to patch up his workmen's shiftless work, and 
keep them at their business. At Lowell, where there is seen the 
perfection of plan and method, they will scarcely look at a Man- 
chester operative, whom they can have for little more than enough 
to keep him alive. Nothing will suit them short of the well-trained 
people from our common schools, to whom they must allow a com- 
pensation sufficient to give them lessons in French and music, be- 



VALUE OF THE INVESTMENT IN SLAVES. 69 

sides making deposits in the Savings Bank ; and the highest paid 
labor is the most profitable to the employers. The same principles 
apply to the management of a plantation, if their owners would but 
see it. If they mean to keep rich, and grow richer, they will do 
well to take a leaf out of our book. 

4. What are the cotton and sugar estates good for, except for 
what they will produce? Of course, the value of their product is 
the measure of their own value. As long as, from the existing sys- 
tem, they are doomed to be tilled by lazy and awkward hands, kept 
in motion by nothing but fear of the lash, their value is kept down. 
Give them a better tillage, as you will when you place upon them 
laborers excited to do their best by a sense of direct personal inter- 
est, and their value immediately rises in proportion to the increased 
amount and value of the production ; and the proprietor is more than 
compensated for his increased outlay upon labor by the advance in 
the income and appraisement of his real estate. Unless we are as 
blind as moles, not a dollar of property would be lost in the South 
by the abandonment of its nominal ownership of twelve hundred 
millions of dollars in slaves. On the contrary, the rise of other 
property, consequent upon that step, and impossible without it, 
would more than make good the supposed deficit. 

Let us illustrate by a story, which we find in a •' Cincinnati Ga- 
zette," of March, 1843, of a proceeding of Mr. McDonough of Lou- 
isiana, with a portion of his slaves. We have conversed with Mr. 
McDonough, and learned some further particulars. But those which 
are recorded are sufficient for our purpose. 

"In 1842, Mr. McDonough, residing opposite New Orleans, liberated 80 slaves 
and sent them to Liberia. The history of this event is thus related by himself: 

" Feeling the necessity of keeping the Sabbath holy, he would not allow his 
slaves to work on that day. Experience, however, soon convinced him that men 
who toiled six days for their master needed many things which he could not give 
them. To enable them to do this, he allowed them half of Saturday, that is, from 
midday till night, to work for themselves. 

"Seeing the amount of money the slaves accumulated in this way, he was led 
to calculate how long it would take them to purchase the remaining five and a half 
days. The result proved that it could be done in 14 or 15 years, and he deter- 
mined to make the experiment, For this end he called his slaves together, and 
explained to them his plan, and said, with their assent he would carry it out. 
They assented, (this was in 1826), and he made the following explanation: 

"The one-half of Saturday being already your own, (in consequence of my 
agreement with you that no labor shall be done on the Sabbath day,) your tirst 
object will be to gain a sufficient sum of money to purchase the other half of Sat- 
urday, which is one-eleventh part of the time you have to labor for your master, 
and of consequence, the one-eleventh part of the value your master has put upon 
you, and which you have to pay him for your freedom. [This, I notify you, will 
be the most difficult part of your undertaking, and take the longest time to accom- 
plish.] It is to be effected by laboring for me on Saturday afternoons, and leav- 
ing the amount of your labor in my hands to be husbanded iip for you. By fore- 
going every thing yourselves, and drawing as little money as possible out of my 
hands, I calculate you will be able to accomplish it in about seven years; that 
once accomplished, and one day out of six your own, you will go on more easily 
and rapidly ; indeed, that once effected, your success is certain ; proceeding then 



70 THE SLAVE POWER. 

on in your good work, you will be enabled easily, by your earnings on one entire 
day in each week, to effect the purchase of another day of your time, in about four 
years. Now master and owner of two days in each week, you will be able in two 
years more to purchase another day, so that three days, or one-half of your time, 
will be your own; in one and a half years more you will be able to purchase an- 
other day, making four days your own ; in one year more, another, or the fifth 
day ; and in six months, the last day, or the whole of your time, will be your own. 
" The results of the experiments were these. In less than six years, the first 
half day was gained and paid for by them. In about the next four years the second 
day of "the week was paid for and their own. In about two and a quarter years, 
the third. In fifteen months, the fourth. In a year, the fifth. And in about six 
months the last, or sixth day became their own, and completed the purchase, 
effecting their freedom in about fourteen and a half years. It could have been 
sooner done, but towards the last they dreiv more money. After this it took them 
nearly five months to pay the balance due on their children, added to what the 
youths (boys and girls) had earned. On the morning of the 8th of June, 1842, 
they all sailed for Liberia." 

Mr. McD. calculated, " that their labor would be given with all the energy of 
heart, soul and physical powers, that they would in consequence accomplish more 
labor in a given time, than the same number of persons would in ordinary circum- 
stances, and that in addition, they would labor some tAvo, three or four hours more 
of the twenty-four, than other slaves were in the habit of doing or would do," and 
he says : 

"From the day on which I made the agreement with them, (notwithstanding 
they had, at all times previous thereto, been a well-disposed and ordei-ly people,) 
an entire change appeared to come over them ; they were no longer apparently 
the same people ; a sedateness, a care, an economy, an industry, took possession 
of them, to which there seemed to be no bounds but in their physical strength. 
They were never tired of laboring, and seemed as though they could never effect 
enough. They became temperate, moral, religious, setting an example of inno- 
cent, unoffending lives to the world around them, which was seen and admired by 
all. The result of my experiment in a pecuniary point of view, as relates to my- 
self, is not one of the least surprising of its features, and is this, that in the space 
of about sixteen years, which those people served me, since making the agree- 
ment with them, they have gained for me, in addition to having performed more 
and better labor than slaves ordinarily perform, in the usual time of laboring, a 
sum of money (including the sum they appear to have paid me, in the purchase of 
their time,) which will enable me to go to Virginia or Carolina, and purchase a 
gang of pieople, of nearly double the number of those I have sent away. This I 
state from an account kept by me, showing the amount and nature of their extra 
work and labor, which I am ready to attest to, in the most solemn manner, at any 
time." 

But men standing up as they, active, brisk in look and walk, showing vigor, 
attracted a good deal of attention. Mr. McD. relates the following anecdote 
illustrating this point: 

His head brick-layer Jim, attracted the attention of a Mr. Parker in New Or- 
leans, where he had 30 or 40 of his men at work. He desired to buy him, and 
made an offer. It was refused. He repeated that offer. Mr. McD. said he never 
sold. Meeting him again he increased the sum, offering at last $5,000 for Jim, 
when he was peremptorily refused. The following conversation occurred : 

" Mr. Parker finding at length, from the refusal of such a large sum of money for 
him, that there was no hope of obtaining him, observed to me. Well then, Mr. 
McDonough, seeing now that you will not sell him at any price, tell me what kind 
of people are those of yours ; to which I replied. How so, Mr. Parker, I suppose 
they are like other men ; flesh and blood, like you and myself; when he replied, 
Why sir, I have never seen such people; building as they are next door to my 
residence, I see and have my eye on them from morning till night. You are 
never there, for I have never met you, or seen you once at the building ; tell me, 
sir, said he, where do those people of yours live ; do they cross the river morn- 
ing and night? I informed him that they lived on the opposite side of the river 



VALUE OF THE INVESTMENT IN SLAVES. 71 

■where I lived myself, and crossed it to their work,, when working in New Or- 
leans, iiig-ht and morning, except when stormy, (which happened very seldom,) 
when I did not permit then:! to cross it, to endanger their lives; at such times, 
they remained at home or in the city. Why sir, said he, I am an early riser, get- 
ting up before day ; and do yon think that I am not awoke every morning in my 
life, by the noise of their trowels, at work, and their singing and noise, before 
day; and do you suppose, sir, that they stop, or leave off work at sun-down? no, 
sir; but they work as long as they can see to lay brick, and then carry up brick 
and mortar for an hour or two afterwards, to be ahead of their work the next 
morning. And again, sir, do you think that they walk at their work ? no, sir, 
they run all day. You see, sir, said he, those immensely long ladders, five stories 
in height; do you suppose they walk up them? No, sir, they run up and down 
them like monkeys the whole day long. I never saw such people as these, sir ; 
I do not know what to make of them ; were there a white man over them with a 
whip in his hand, all day, why then I should see and understand the cause of their 
running, and incessant labor ; but I cannot comprehend it, sir ; there is something 
in it, sir; there is something in it. Great man, sir, that Jim; great man, sir; 
should like to own him. After having laughed very heartily at the observations 
of Mr. Parker, for it was all truth, every word of it, I informed him that there was 
a secret about it, which I would disclose to him some day, and we separated. 
Now, Mr. Parker imputed the conduct of these people, for I have given the very 
words and expressions he used, and he is alive, hearty and well in New Orleans, 
and can be spoken to by any one interested in the subject, to the head man who 
conducted them, and in consequence, impressed with that belief, offered me five 
thousand dollars for him ; but Mr. Parker knew not the stimulus that acted on the 
heart of each and every one of them ; that it was the whole body of them that 
moved together as one mind ; not one alone, the head man, as he supposed." 

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ -SP *^ % w 

•' The ship in which they sailed for Africa floated opposite my house, in the 
Mississippi, at the bank of the river ; I had taken my leave of them on going on 
board the ship; on Friday evening, the day previous to her sailing, in my house. 
The scene which there took place, I will not attempt to describe. It can never 
be erased from my memory." 

" After seeing them on, (the ship was taken by a steamer,) Mr. McLain came 
into my house, as T was expecting him to breakfast, and on seeing him much af 
fected in his manner, (a tear standing in his eye,) I inquired if any thing had 
taken place to give him pain ; to which he replied, " Oh, sir, it was an affecting 
sight to see them depart. They were all on the deck of the ship, and your ser- 
vants who have not gone, were on the shore bidding them farewell, when from 
every tongue on board the ship, I heard the charge to those on shore, ' Fanny, 
take care of our master.' ^ James, take care of our master ; take care of our master ; 
as you love us, and hope to meet us in heaven, take care of our beloved master.' " 

What do these details amount to ? They amount to this : That these 
slaves, in sixteen years, besides doing for their master all the work 
expected from them as slaves, did, under the new stimulus of hope 
and the proper excitements of a rational being, as much additional 
work as equalled the total amount of work expected to be done by 
them in their whole lives, beginning at the time when the plan went into 
operation, — because the expected product of their whole lives' labor 
was of course the measure of the price, set upon them respectively, 
and which they were required to earn in order to buy their free- 
dom. In other words, the introduction of the new element of per- 
sonal interest, and an intelligent hopeful purpose, made their labor, 
in sixteen years, to be worth as much as otherwise the total labor of 
their whole lives, plus the labor of sixteen years of the prime of it, 



72 THE SLAVE POWER. 

would have been worth. Is that an economical lesson worth a 
slaveholder's attention ? 

Nor is this all. It seems to be only half of the truth. "In the 
space of about sixteen years," says Mr. McDonough, " they have 
gained for me, in addition to having performed more and better la- 
bor than slaves ordinarily perform, in the usual time of laboring, a 
sum of money (including the sum they appear to have paid me, in 
the purchase of their time,) which will enable me to go to Virginia 
or Carolina, and purchase a gang of people of nearly double the 
number of those I have sent away." The surplus labor of their 
sixteen years, under the newly infused impulse, was not only suffi- 
cient to buy themselves, but to buy nearly as many more such. In 
other words, if we understand the statement, the surplus labor of 
eight years, when the thing came to be seen to the bottom, amounted 
to what was expected from the labor of their whole lives as slaves, 
with that of the time spent in buying themselves added. 

Will any body tell us why what proved true of Mr. McDonough's 
eighty bondmen would not, on the whole, prove equally true of eighty 
thousand ; and that the labor of any number, in freedom, would not 
turn out to be worth to their employers as much more than their la- 
bor in slavery ? We anticipate the reply that the hope of emerging 
from servitude to liberty was to these slaves a stronger motive than 
the mere hope of bettering his condition would be to one already 
a freeman. And we allow force to the suggestion. But we set off 
against it the consideration of the greater intelligence and capacity 
acquired by the training which freemen would command, and which 
these poor people wanted. With all their alacrity and good will, 
still they were only slaves. They had nothing to turn to account 
but their hands. They could neither read, write, nor cipher; and 
they were enfeebled by all the moral disabilities of their early con- 
dition. With the minds of freemen, under the same stimulus, they 
would have made shorter work. 



NO. XXI. 



WHO WILL BE HARMED BY ITS OVERTHROW ?— ECONOMICAL 
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE SLAVEHOLDER. 

The last number of these papers contained an account of an ex- 
periment made by Mr. McDonough of Louisiana with eighty slaves, 
showing that, in converting them to freemen, he made a good spec- 
ulation. A different experia.ent of the British Parliament on eight 
hundred thousand, justifies similar conclusions. 

Mr. Gurney, a Q,uaker, a man marked by the shrewdness as well 



VALUE OF THE INVESTMENT IN SLAVES. 73 

as by the sincerity and benevolent temper of his sect, visited the 
British West India islands in 1840, when the experiment of culti- 
vation with emancipated slaves had been six years in progress. We 
extract some striking specimens of his testimony on the subject. 

At St. Christopher's he visited the plantation of Robert Clayton, 
Solicitor General of the Colony. 

" Speaking of a small property on the island belonging- to himself, he said ' Six 
years ago (that is, shortly before the act of emancipation,) it was worth only 
£2000, with the slaves upon it. Now, without a single slave, it is worth three 
times the money. I would not sell it for £6000.' This remarkable rise in the 
value of property, is by no means confined to particular estates." — Familiar Let- 
ters to Henry Clay, &c, p. 3.5. 

" In this island the negroes perform a far greater quantity of work in a given 
time, than could be obtained from them under slavery. 'They will do an infinity 
of work,' said one of my informants, 'for wages.'" — Ibid. p. SGI*. 

At Antigua; 

"On my inquiring of them [Sir William Colebrook, Governor General, and 
Mr. Gilbert, a clergyman] respecting the value of landed property, their joint an- 
swer was clear and decided. ' At the lowest computation the land, without a 
single slave upon it, is fully as valuable now, as it was, including all the slaves, 
before emancipation.' Satisfactory as is this computation, I have every reason to 
believe that it is much below the mark." — Ibid, p. 43. 

" We understood that he [Mr. Gilbert] received $25,000 as a compensation for 
his slaves. He assured us that this sum was a mere present put into his pocket; 
a gratuity, on which he had no reasonable claim. Since his land, without the 
slaves, is at least of the same value as it was, with the slaves, before emancipa- 
tion, and since his profits are increased, rather than diminished, this consequence 
follows, of course." — Ibid, p. 44. 

" We were now placed in possession of clear documentary evidence respecting 
the staple produce of the island. The average exports of the last five years of 
slavery (1829 to 1833 included.) were, sugar, 12,189 hogsheads; molasses, 3,308 
puncheons; and rum, 2,408. Those of the first five years of freedom (1834 to 
1838 inclusive,) were, sugar, 1-3,545 hogsheads; molasses, 8,308 puncheons; and 
rum, 1,109 puncheons; showing an excess of 1,356 hogsheads of sugar; and of 
5000 puncheons of molasses ; and a diminution of 1,359 puncheons of rum. * * 
* * * It ought to be observed, that these five years of freedom included two 
of drought, one very calamitous. The statement for 1839 forms an admirable cli- 
max to this account. It is as follows; sugar, 22,.383 hogsheads (10,000 beyond 
the last average of slavery); 12,433 puncheons of molasses (also 10,000 beyond 
that average); and only 582 puncheons of rum." — Ibid, p. 53. 

At Dominica, the information obtained was 

That "the negroes were working delightfully," and that "they were working 
cheerfully, and cheaply to their employers as compared with slavery." — Ibid, p. 62. 

At Jamaica, 

" Under slavery, two hundred slaves were supported on Papine estate; now it 
is worked by forty-three laborers." "One hundred and seventy slaves, or appren- 
tices, used to be supported on this estate [Halberstadt]. Now our friend employs 
fifty-f )ur free laborers, who work for him four days in the week, taking one day 
for their provision grounds, and another for market. This is all the labor that he 
requires." — Ibid, pp. 77, 83. The support of the slaves on this property under the 



74 THE SLAVE POWER. 

old system had cost £850 annually ; the annual wages of the free laborers amount 
ed to £607.10. Ibid. In the parish of St. Mary, "in the laborious occupation of 
holeing, the emancipated negroes perform double the work of the slave, in the day. 
In road-making, the day's task, under slavery, was to break four barrels of stone. 
Now, by task- work, a weak hand will fill eight barrels; a strong one, from ten to 
twelve barrels." — Ibid, p. 89. " Our friend [George Marcy] a few years since had 

sold a certain sugar estate, called G , for the trifling sum of £1500. 'And 

what dost thou suppose to be the value of that property now, friend Marcy ?' said 
one of our company. 'Ten thousand pounds,' was his immediate reply." — Ibid, 
p. 111. 

" 'I had rather make sixty tierces of coffee,' said A. B., 'under freedom, than 
one hundred and twenty under slavery ; such is the saving of expense, that I make 
a better profit by it; nevertheless, 1 mean to make one hundred and twenty, as be- 
fore.''''^ — Ibid, p. 118. "Do you see that excellent new stone wall round the field 
below us ?' said the young physician to me, as we stood at A. B.'s front door, sur- 
veying the delightful scenery. ' That wall could scarcely have been built at all 
under slavery, or the apprenticeship ; the necessary labor could not have been 
hired at less than £5 currency, or about $13 per chain. Under freedom, it cost 
only from $2.50 to $4.00 per chain, not one-third of the amount. Still more re- 
markable is the fact, that the whole of it was built under the stimulus of job-work, 
by an invalid negro, who, during slavery, had been given up to total inaction !' 
This was the substance of onr conversation ; the information was afterwards fully 
confirmed by the proprietor. Such was the fresh blood infused into the veins of 
this decrepid person by the genial hand of freedom, that he had been redeemed 
from absolute uselessness, had executed a noble work, had greatly improved his 
master's property, and finally had realized for himself a handsome sum of money." 
—Ibid, p. 119. 

" ' I know the case of a property,' observes Dr. Stewart, ' on which there were 
one hundred and twenty-five slaves, the expense amounting (at £5 per annum for 
the maintenance of each slave,) to £625. The labor account for the first year of 
freedom, deducting rents, was only £220, leaving a balance, in favor of freedom, 
of £400. More improvement had been made on the property than for many years 
past, with a prospect of an increasing extent of cultivation. On a second prop- 
erty, the slave and apprenticeship expenses averaged £2400 ; the labor account, 
for the first year of freedom, was less than £850. On a third estate, the year's 
expense, under slavery, was £1480; under apprenticeship, £1050: under free- 
dom, £637. On a fourth, the reduction is from £1100 to £770.' 'I believe in 
my conscience,' says the same gentleman, ' that property in Jamaica, without the 
slaves, is as valuable as it formerly was with them. I believe its value would 
double, by sincerely turning away from all relics of slavery, to the honest free 
working of a free system.'"* — Ibid, pp. 120, 121. 

The " Letters on the Slave Trade, Slavery, and Emancipation," 
by G. W. Alexander, two years later than the work of Mr. Gurney, 
confirm his representations in essential particulars. He says (p. 80), 

"In British Guiana, "a colony which has suffered more from drought than 
any other since the introduction of freedom, and where, in consequence of 
this circumstance and others to which reference has been made, the exports 
of sugar have lessened considerably, eighteen estates have been sold subse/- 
quently to the Abolition Act coming into effect, Avhich have realized in alm^/^t 
every instance, as much as would have been obtained for them, together ivitKthe 
slaves, during the period of slavery. Property in Georgetown, in the same colony, 
has increased in value from 8,133,070 guilders, to 9,981,550 guilders, or 1,848,490 
in the space of three years, between 1836 and 1839; the former year being the 

* At that vast and admirably managed establishment, the St. Charh^s Hotel in 
New Orleans, we observed, in 1843, that all the servants were free. They must 
have been brought and kept there at great expense, but it was genuine economy. 
The head -of the house was from Lynn in Massachusetts, and understood these 
things. 



VALUE OF THE INVESTMENT IN SLAVES. 75 

time of the apprenticeship." Again, (p. 165): "The value of the slaves [in the 
Spanish Islands] would, as a natural consequence, be transferred to the soil, and 
such has been the case to a very great extent in the British West Indies. In a 
very large proportion of instances, estates can now be sold for as large a sum as 
could formerly be obtained for thera with the slaves attached. In towns, also, a 
great increase has taken place in the value both of land and houses." 

In illustration of the increase of profitable industry in later years, 
we give the following statement of the exportation of sugar, the 
principal product of the British West India Islands : — 

In 1841. 121,295 hogsheads, 12,225 tierces. 

1842, 135,910 " 15,985 

1843, 141,100 " 13,640 " 

1844, 138,150 " 16,395 

1845, 157,200 « 20,075 " 

No doubt, from temporary causes, partly incident to the change 
in the nature of labor, and in part wholly extraneous to that ques- 
tion, the exportation of the staples suffered some decrease. But 
exportation is not the standard of lucrative industry, nor of the 
rents, profits, or wealth of proprietors. No small quantity of the 
sugar, molasses, coffee, and other commodities, which before eman- 
cipation had nearly all been sent abroad, was from that time con- 
sumed by the blacks, who paid as much for it to the land-holder 
as the foreign consumer had done, perhaps more. And suppose, 
instead of raising as much sugar as before, the negro chose to turn 
part of his industry into the cultivation of yams, bananas, plantains, 
pine apples, and other fruits and vegetables for his family or for the 
market, what did the landlord lose by that ? What, rather, did he 
not gain ? For, of course, the better the tenant could suit himself 
with his farming, the more rent would he be willing to pay. Un- 
doubtedly, in ths long run, the most profitable products will receive 
the most cultivation, and rent and value will keep pace with pro- 
ducts, whether exported or consumed at home. Certainly we have 
discussed tariff principles in this country, enough to understand that 
a home market may be as good, or better, both to the laborer and 
land owner, than a foreign one. 

We cannot so much as glance at all the aspects of this great sub- 
ject, but we must not leave it without a single word about the other 
side of the custom-house ledger. 

"The change for the better," says Mr. Gurney, (p. 36), " in the dress, demean- 
or, and welfare of the people, is prodigious. The imports are vastly increased. 
The duties on them [in St. Christopher's] were £1000 more in 1838, than in 1837 ; 
and in 1839, double those of 1838, within £150. This surprising increase is ow- 
ing to the demand on the part of the free laborers, for imported goods, especially 
for articles of dress." 

Again (p. 64) ; 

"The average imports of the last five years of slavery [in Dominica] were of 
the value of £64,000. In 1839, they amounted to £120,000, although certain 



76 THE SLAVE POWER. 

vessels, which had been expected, had not yet arrived, when the accounts were 
made up ; — the difference [in the year] in favor of freedom, £50,000 ; a sum which 
mainly represents an increase of comforts enjoyed by the emancipated negroes." 

What does this mean ? It means a great many things, which we 
cannot now stop so much as to hint at. Among other things, it 
means that the free blacks were able to pay for the large amount of 
property they imported, either from what they earned as laborers, 
or from business transacted on their own account. And, in either 
case, a full portion of the benefit of course inured to their richer 
neighbors. People do not get high wages without profit to their 
employers. Nor do they carry on an advantageous business with- 
out a proportionably high rent to their landlords. We commend 
this class of facts to the notice of any of our manufacturers, who 
may have given " an attent ear " to Mr. Secretary Walker's argu- 
ment, and been willing to have Texas peopled with slaves.* 

An illustration or two of this topic from facts nearer home, and 
we dismiss it. The rents of equally productive lands bear a pretty 
fair proportion to the density of population. Between 1830 and 
1840, the increase of population in the Free States of this Union 
was 38 per cent ; in the Slave States, it was 23 per cent. What 
made this difference ? No reflecting person doubts that it was 
Slavery ; and in checking the growth of numbers, it affected pro- 
portionably the rise of property. 

Compare Kentucky and Ohio, contiguous States, of about equal 
area (Kentucky is the larger), and nearly equal fertility, the advan- 
tage, however, in this respect also, being probably with the former. 
In 1790, Ohio was an Indian wilderness, and Kentucky had 61,227 
free inhabitants. In 1840 Kentucky had a population of 597,570 
freemen (with 182,258 slaves), and Ohio of 1,519,467; and Ohio 
had a capital of seventeen millions of dollars employed in manu- 
ufactures, which give an added worth to everything around them, 
and which (in all but the lowest branches, at least) every commu- 
nity must give up the thought of, which p'.lows itself to employ ser- 
vile labor. Cincinnati, above the obstruction of the falls of Ohio, 
has 46,000 inhabitants ; Louisville, below them, has 21,000. f 

Compare New York and Virginia; the latter, in respect to merely 
natural advantages, the Paradise of America. In 1790, Virginia, 
with a great comparative accumulation of wealth, had a population 

* It has been stated that, as long ago as 1843, the emancipated slaves of the Brit- 
ish colonies consumed five times the amount of manufactured goods that the}^ had 
done in slavery. 

t In a letter received this month from an intelligent gentleman of Louisville, 
Kentucky, he informs us ; " The most intelligent men of my acquaintance in this 
State are of opinion that, if slavery were abolished, the land in Kentucky would be 
worth, in five years after the declaration of emancipation, quite as much as both 
land and slaves now are." He adds ; " There is almost no immigration to the State, 
owing to the existence of slavejy." 



DISSOLUTION OF THE UNION. 77 

of 748, 30S on a surface of 70,000 square miles ; New York, on her 
territory of 45,658, had 340,110 people. In 1840, Virginia had 
1.239,797 inhabitants; New York, 2,428,^21 ; while the estimated 
property of Virginia, in 1838, was ^'212,000,000; of New York, 
in 1839, ^'654,000,000. 

Compare Maryland on her beautiful bay, with cold and stony 
Massachusetts ; the latter has 98 free inhabitants to the square mile, 
the former, 27. Compare Michigan and Arkansas, regions open to 
emigration, received into the Union nearly together. The whites, 
in ten years before 1840, had increased in the respective ratios of 
200 per cent, in the latter State, and 574 in the former. Compare 
Pennsylvania with the contiguous States on her southern border. 
Washington compared them, and he said that the difference between 
them was owing to the Pennsylvania laws for the abolition of slav- 
ery ; " laws," he added, " which there is nothing more certain than 
that Maryland and Virginia must have, and that at a period not 
remote." 

Yes, if our Southern compatriots wish to grow rich, let them take 
the effectual step of giving up that twelve hundred millions of dol- 
lars worth of men, which Mr. Clay said was too much for them to 
sacrifice. 



NO. XXII. 

WHAT SHOULD THE FREE STATES DO ABOUT IT? 

In the first place, there are two things which they should not do. 

1. They should not meditate a severance of the Union of the States. 
Disunion would be as evil a thing as it is painted by any of those, 
who, by dwelling exclusively on its evils, put their consciences to 
sleep in respect to that Slavery, which, as long as it exists, will threat- 
en, more than all other causes together, to bring it about. The 
condition of two nations, related to each other like the sections 
North and South of the border line of slavery, would be of very 
different degrees of calamity to the two, but it would be such to 
both, as neither should entertain the thought of hazarding. This 
united nation, badly as in some respects it has begun, has a good 
deal yet to do in the world ; a large space to fill in history ; a bene- 
ficent work to accomplish for humanity ; and it is not going to di- 
vest itself of the power by any such suicidal proceeding. 

We of the Free States cannot consent to the losses and evils of 
separation, though no doubt they would be much lighter to us than 
to the threatening and blustering party. The South (or some of 
her madcaps for her) trembling for the security of her " peculiar 
institution," is plotting to get out of the Union, by sowing among 



"iS THE SLAVE POWER. 

her ignorant population jealousies of their northern brethren ; by ex- 
tending Slave States to the Southwest ; and by the adoption of Cal- 
ifornia, helping her poor commercial resources with a good port on 
the Pacific within slave territory. But we cannot afford to lose her, 
and she shall not go. We cannot spare the brotherhood of ihe up- 
right and patriotic non-slaveholders, who are destined yet to learn 
their strength, and wield an enlightened and salutary power with- 
in her borders. What is of less, but still great account, we must 
continue to have a way in and out of the mouths of the Mississippi. 
They are an outside-door of Cincinnati and Pittsburg as much as of 
New Orleans, and of Philadelphia as much as either. New York 
and Boston give and receive one tide of wealth across parallels of 
the Atlantic ocean, and another along the continuous track of iron 
road and western waters down to the Gulf of Mexico. Therefore 
the North, both East and West, must stop those long strides of 
South Carolina towards disunion, and California, if it ever gets ad- 
mission at all, must corne in without a slave. So said the proviso, 
introduced into the house of Representatives by the democratic 
Mr. Wilmot of Pennsylvania ; and the people of the Free States, 
with a unanimity unparalleled for years, have responded their deep 
a?nen. 

As to the most, and the worst, of the evils and disgraces of our 
connexion with slavery, disunion would be no reasonable remedy 
even for them ; because, whenever the Free States should be in a 
condition to apply that remedy, they would be in a condition to 
effect the same object without any such strong expedient. Of course 
the Free States could not. under any circumstances, proceed to car- 
ry out a dissolution of the Union for the purpose of escape from 
the companionship of slavery, till there had been created among 
their citizens such a paramount sense of the intolerable nature of 
the evil, as would turn their political action vigorously in that di- 
rection. And when that was the case, there would be no occasion 
for any violent measures. The same state of things which render- 
ed such measures possible, would render them needless. The Free 
States, by their heavy majority, would exercise the regular functions 
of the government. Their salutary legislation would at once efface 
some of the (to themselves) worst abuses of the atrocious institu- 
tion ; and the non-slaveholding interest in the Slave States, sus- 
tained and encouraged by the countenance of the central adminis- 
tration, and by the contagion of a lofty sentiment of public virtue 
beyond their borders, would probably not be very long in breaking 
down all of the abuses that remained. 

Again ; the Free States ought not to think of disunion, because 
it would separate them from their best auxiliaries in that work, which, 
for the safety of all parties, must be done. We want the help of 
the non-slaveholding white men of the Southern States, and they 
want ours, to throw off from both the burden of this insufferable 
wrong. To separate ourselves from them would be to leave 



FREEDOM TO DlSCUSS IT. 79 

them In the hands of their hard masters, with far less hope of 
relief than that which many of them are now indulging. We and 
they have a just claim, in this exigency, to such aid as we can give 
to each other, through the action of our common government, and 
through the free communication of thought and purpose between 
fellow-citizens, on matters of high common interest. 

Constitutional proceedings, then, alone are to be thought of, for 
the abatement of this monstrous nuisance. A disunion of the States, 
on all other accounts a calamity, does not change its character when 
viewed in relation to this end. But 

2. Neither are we to allow ourselves to be diverted from freely dis- 
cussing this great and vital question of humanity and of American 
politics, by senseless outcries of disloyalty or danger to the Union, 
or by vehement reproaches of any who may have hitherto discussed 
it with more or less of good judgment and good temper. The 
people of the Free States have now business far more important and 
serious in hand, than that of finding fault with abolitionists; and he 
who suspects others of favoring disunion, because they would expose 
the element of discord which makes the Union insecure, will do 
well, out of regard to his self-esteem at a future day, to revise his 
logic before he commits it to tenacious paper. 

In his reply, last autumn, to members of the Anti-Texas Commit- 
tee who had solicited his aid in furtherance of their object, Mr. Apple- 
ton, referring to a portion of the Abolition party, said, " I cannot sym- 
pathise with their cry of ' Accursed be the Union.' " What if he could 
not? Who asked him to sympathise with any such cry? Who 
asked him to do any thing more than help save the Union from com- 
ing under a curse, which, according to his avowed opinion, has since 
settled upon it? The gentlemen whom he addressed were each of 
them under an official oath, to " support the Constitution of the 
United States." The reflection upon them, as if they could intend 
disloyalty to the Union, was a fierce one. If Mr. Appleton's pow- 
er had been greater, it would have been cruel. But the men at 
whom it was aimed are not unknown in this community, and they 
are able to bear it. There is no appearance yet that it has cost them 
any part of their share of the public confidence. They love the 
Union with an afTection as warm as his own, and perhaps more 
considerate ; and, because they love it, they feel bound to do what 
little in them lies to relieve it from its most shameful discredit and 
its most alarming danger. 

Mr. Appleton said furthermore, by way of reply to an invitation 
to aid in multiplying petitions to prevent the admission, by Congress, 
of Texas, as a Slave State, into the Union : 

" It is at least questionable whether the Abolition movement is reconcilable 
with duty under the Constitution. At any rate, that movement, as conducted, 
was calculated, in my opinion, to produce, and has produced, nothing but evil. 
It has banded the South into a solid phalanx in resistance to what they consider 
an impertinent and unjustifiable interference with their own peculiar rights and 



80 THE SLAVE POWER. 

business. It has thus exasperated their feelings, and, by its operation on their 
fears, has increased the severity of the slave laws. It has postponed the period 
of emancipation in the more Northern Slave States, which were fast lipening for 
that event." 

Much of this appears to have been written in exceediiig igno- 
rance of the subject. Whether the Abohtion party has done more 
or less that was right or wrong, few persons, we suppose, of as much 
general intelligence and information as Mr. Appleton, would now 
impute to it the production of just those mischiefs which he attrib- 
utes to its agency. He must reason very differently upon well 
known principles of human nature from what we have been taught 
to do, if he really supposes that the slave is worse treated because 
the eyes of the whole civilized and Christian world have been sharp- 
ly turned upon the master; and who does not know with what in- 
creased anxiety the Southern planter now pays to the better public 
opinion of the other portions of the country, the respect of insisting 
that his rule is a mild and generous one? To persons who have 
had opportunity to compare the recent physical treatment of slaves 
with that of ten, twenty, thirty years ago, nothing is inore notorious 
than the fact of their improved condition in such particulars as 
those of food, shelter, and clothing. We have before us, in a 
pamphlet of some seventy or eighty pages, an account of Proceed- 
ings of a Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, last year, " On the 
Religious Instruction of the Negroes." Is this step, taken after the 
outcry against the inhumanity of slavery had become loudest abroad, 
a token that the remonstrance of disgusted humanity had made the 
slave-holder more unrelenting, or on the contrary, that it may have 
done something to awaken reflection, or conscience, or shame? 

The " Abolition movement," says Mr. Appleton, " has banded 
the South into a solid phalanx, in resistance to what they consider 
an impertinent and unjustifiable interference with their own pecu- 
liar rights and business." He should have said, it has banded the 
southern slave-holders ; for, as far as it has had any influence, it has 
done any thing else but band with them, for that purpose, the other 
part of the white population. There are thousands in the South, 
who have been brought to see that Slavery, not eflx)rts for its over- 
throw, is a very "impertinent and unjustifiable interference with 
their own peculiar rights and business," And even when applied to 
the slave-holders, the remark needs much qualification. Cassius M. 
Clay and others would not stay banded in that phalanx. Many more 
consciences have been reached, than, under the pressure of circum- 
stances, have as yet made their convictions or uneasiness known ; 
and we and Mr. Appleton, without living very long, may live to see 
that Abolition is not the hoop that will hold tiie rotten cask of sla- 
very together. 

" It has postponed the period of emancipation," &c. So it is 
said, we know, by many persons in the South, while others entertain 



ABOLITIONISM. 81 

strongly the opposite opinion. We incline to think that the latter 
are right, and that the charge, on the whole, is only a specimen of that 
species of popular appeal which " Salmagundi " used to call sla7ig- 
ivhanging, set up as one of the methods of putting the movement 
in favor of liberty to rest. In that progress of sound views on the 
subject which has been going on in Kentucky, Maryland, and else- 
where, we see no indications, whatever Mr Appleton may do, that 
it would have taken place earlier, or developed itself more strongly, 
had the question of freedom never been discussed in the Free States. 

"It has exasperated their feelings," In this statement there is 
much truth. But we draw a different inference from it. The hot, 
undignified, and imprudent exasperation of the slave-holders is to 
us a proof of conscious weakness, rather than of self-relying and 
determined strength. The South, in its childish fury, stamps on 
our petitions, bullies our representatives into silence, imprisons, 
whips, threatens to sell, perhaps sells, our colored citizens, in- 
sults and expels our white ones. Is not Mr. Appleton acquainted 
with that significant line of the poet Crabbe, " He put his anger 
on to hide his shame ? " Is he not experienced man of the world 
enough to know that the stormiest protestations, and the most vio- 
lent acts, generally proceed from a secret distrust of the goodness of 
one's cause ? Whatever God means to destroy^ first he maddens ; so 
said very ancient wisdom. Slavery, on its way to be destroyed, it 
first demented with passion. We read in the holy book, that it 
was when the evil spirit was about to be driven out of a man, that it 
•' tare" its victim, " and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foam- 
ing." So these violent demonstrations of slavery are the spasmod- 
ic contortions of the doomed and departing demon. It is while 
that unclean spirit is undergoing exorcism, that it plays its most cra- 
zy antics, and foams out the slaver of its imbecile and short-lived 
rage. 

Such objections to the free utterance of the true and sober words of 
justice, humanity, and patriotism, have had their day. Neither facts 
nor good sense sustain them. An enormous moral, social and political 
evil exists, vVhich must be exposed, calmly, but plainly and fearlessly, 
in order to its removal by peaceable and constitutional means. 

In a sketch of the life of Knibb, one of the Baptist benefactors 
of Jamaica, we find some of the transactions between them and the 
planters thus summed up. '• Knibb and his coadjutors came to an 
agreement with the planters, that Slavery and Christianity could not 
exist together ; and there they parted. The planters said. < We 
will exterminate Christianity'; the missionaries rejoined, 'We will 
abolish slavery.' " Our ■' planters " have come up to their part of 
a similar agreement witli the free people of the North. Thej' have 
insisted on saying, " Wc will exterminate Liberty. We will deny 
jury trials to persons claiming to be free. We will tread on your 
petitions in your national legislative halls. We will stop your incnitlis 
among us by panic or by shot. We will incarcerate, flay, and sell 
6 



82 THE SLAVE POWER. 

your people." They have forced on us the necessity of replying, 
" We are not content with this arrangement, and therefore we will 
abolish Slavery. We will limit it, as far as we may legitimately do 
so, by the operation of laws, which our common Constitution per- 
mits us to frame. We will remove it ultimately, — we, or they who 
are to come after us, — by the force of reason acting on the minds 
of the rightful local authorities where it prevails." 



NO. XXIII. 

WHAT CAN THE FREE STATES DO ABOUT IT? 

Some people, when they have pronounced these words, seem to 
think that they have given birth to an enormous witticism, 
such that the intensity of the labor dispenses them for the present 
from all exertion whatsoever. 

I. One thing, however, quite clearly, the Free States are able to 
do, hy their own power in the national legislature alone, and must 
do, if they do not mean to be an astonishment, and a by-word, 
and a hissing in the earth. They must put their foot down, and 
say, Slavery shall live no more in any Territory of this nation, and 
henceforward no State shall ever be admitted into the Union with a 
Constitution recognizing its existence. The disastrous Missouri 
Compromise must never more be repeated. 

A most auspicious sign of restored sanity on this subject, in both 
parties of the Free States, was afforded by Mr. Wilmot's proviso to 
the Two Million Bill, which carried with it all but nine of the North- 
ern Representatives, and, in the peculiar state of circumstances, 
would have had no bad chance in the Senate, but for a mischievous 
blunder in a quarter wliere it should not have been looked for. The 
South will move heaven, earth, and the shades, to drive us from that 
position. Sophistry, blandishments, bullying and bribery, will be 
dealt out in even unwonted profusion. But if there is a particle of 
ancient manhood left in the Free States, here they will be immov- 
able. Hie terminus hceret. The time when you have taken your 
foe at disadvantage, and felled him with a stunning blow, is just the 
time to deal another, and despatch him. This the Slave Power 
well understands, and, having forced Texas into the confederacy, 
already talks of making its handful of people yield two more United 
States Senators by a division into two States. Will it be done? 
Already this is announced as part of the plan of the Washington 
campaign of this coming winter. Is there unfathomable scoundrel- 
ism enough among the Northern members to allow it to succeed ? 
If there is not in this Congress, there is a fair prospect that the time 
for it will have gone by. 

II. There are two measures, also matters of national legislation 



WHAT CAN THE FREE STATES DO ? 83 

merely, which the North absolutely requires for its protection, and 
which, though not capable of being carried through both Houses of 
Congress, by its own strength alone, are of such obvious necessity 
and justice, that, till obtained, it should never cease to insist upon 
them with a unanimous and peremptory determination. 

1. One is, the repeal of that unutterably heinous law of February 
12th, 1793, which makes the ears of every freeman that hears of it 
to tingle, providing that every American freeman's liberty, — his 
and his posterity's forever, — shall be at the mercy of any miserable 
town or county magistrate, vyhom the kidnapper may select, and 
dupe or bribe to do his accursed work. Pennsylvania and other 
States undertook to throw over their citizens the shield of a jury 
trial. But in the recent case of Prigg versus Pennsylvania, the Su- 
preme Court adjudged that the United States legislation was para- 
mount and exclusive, and that, though a man could not be wronged 
out of twenty-one dollars without the judgment of his peers, he 
might be, out of what is dearer than life. Freemen of the chain- 
less Bay, of the free mountains of New England, of the free prai- 
ries of the West, do you believe it ? Borrow the Statute Book ; 
find the loathsome page ; read the incredible words ; and ask what 
your fathers fought for. 

2. The other measure is, the opening of the Federal Courts to 
citizens of the Free States threatened with injury to property, per- 
son, liberty, or life, by the pseudo-legislation of the Slave country. 
If we were not restrained by our Constitutional union with the 
States which so insult and wrong us, we should not be long in 
righting ourselves. We gave up our own power of protecting the 
vital interests of our people, only on condition that they should be 
protected by the Federal arm. South Carolina warns away the free 
citizen of Massachusetts from a soil which he -has as good a right 
to tread as her own proudest man. She seizes him before he has 
stepped upon the shore, and strips him for the lash, or sells him to 
life-long slavery under the hammer. She closes against him thosei 
Courts of our common country, where he would present his suit, 
and invoke the venerable arbitration of the Constitution and the 
Law. She threatens and drives away with gross insult the minister 
of the law who would plead his cause, himself as much privileged 
and as much outraged as the suitor. And finally, she makes it 
highly penal to ask for safety and justice within her borders. 

Redress in these two essential particulars, though belonging to 
the province of the simple legislation of Congress, cannot now be 
obtained by the power of even the united North alone, because the 
Senate, in which half the voters are from slave-holding States, must 
concur in the passage of any law to repeal the Act of 1793, or (in 
the words of the Massachusetts Resolve of 1845) " to extend by 
appropriate legislation the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts, so as 
to embrace and give redress in all cases of wrong done to the per- 
sonal and commercial rights of the citizens of Massachusetts, se- 



84 THE SLAVE POWER. 

cured to them by the Constitution and laws." But, in cases so 
clear, it is impossible that some Senators from the Slave States 
should not be found voting with us. It seems impossible that Sen- 
ators like Mr. Clayton, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Crittenden, Mr. Morehead, 
men personally so upright, and representing States already so in- 
fected with free principles, should make up their minds to a perse- 
verance in such impudent injustice. 

But suppose they should, what then ? Will the matter stop there ? 
Only till men pursuing such a recreant policy shall be left out, an(i 
yield up their places to worthier successors ; and this will not be 
forever. Their more right minded fellow-citizens will take care of 
that. At some rate, Congress must, it must see to these things. 
They make a matter of social life or death. The Courts of this 
Union must be open to the people of this Union. The poorest cit- 
izen speaks with a voice louder and more potential than the bab- 
blings of many Congresses, when he says, Clear the way for me in- 
to that Court-House, where the grave majesty of my country's 
justice sits, to hear the feeble, and decree the right. I have a right 
to enter, and enter I will, though all the roysterers in the South, and 
all the fiends below, obstruct. Clear the way, at whatever cost, till 
I stand right in front of the sovereign tribunal, and have a chance 
to tell my story. Do not answer me, that the door is beset by a 
South Carolina rabblemenfe. That is no affair of mine. I care not, 
though there be twenty South Carolinas to the mob. You know 
best whether to bid your catch-poles coax or shove them aside. At 
all events, I say. Make a lane. I know my power, and will have 
my due. I am not one man ; so hindered and wronged, I am 
clothed with a power that can crush to powder that of all men. 
High truths, attested by the world's experience, the manliood of 
universal man, the sanctity of eternal justice, they are the- counsel- 
lors that stand by me in this presence, and they are not suitors that 
will take denial. Together, be sure of it, we shall make the world 
rock on its foundations deepest down at the core of things, but we 
will have our hearing. 

III. There are two other measures, also matters of national leg- 
islation merely, which require to be adopted for the weightiest rea- 
sons of public morality and public policy regarding ourselves, as 'well 
as out of a becoming regard to the opinion of mankind ; measures 
which should be constantly and strenuously aimed at from the pres- 
ent hour, in the hope that favoring events, and the growing sense ot 
justice and humanity among our people, will before long allow them 
to be carried through. 

1. One is the repeal of so much of the law of February 27th, 
1801, as permits the existence of slavery in the District of Colum- 
bia, the seat of the national government. Here we cannot throw 
off the responsibility of ourselves harboring the accursed thing. 
■ The government of the country, in which we of the Free States 
have our full part, is the local legislature of the District. And the 
District, by the will and jjleaswe of the United States, is not only a 



WHAT CAN THE FREE STATES DO ? 85 

slave region. It is a slave jail and slave stall. It is little that there 
we flaunt our shame in the eyes of the representatives of Christian 
nations. We ought to do that penance for the sin ; and, unlike the 
Coventry people when Godiva passed, they ought all to be staring 
and jeering from their windovs^s at us. But it is a foul abomination 
that we, children of freedom's soldiers and martyrs, should set the 
police that guards the great slave auction of the country, ^ — the den 
where, above all other spots, that wretchedness is piled and crowd- 
ed, which belongs to the tearing away of men, women, and child- 
ren, — helpless infancy, helpless age, conjugal attachment, — from 
partners, parents, offspring, brothers and country. Nor is even that 
the worst of our pet District. The little tiger's whelp loves daintier 
fare, and must have its occasional treat of a freeman. Every now 
and then one of our own free brothers gets within reach of its pur- 
veyors, and having been kept awhile in prison fatting, — or, it may 
be, thinning, — to see whether any body is going to call for him, is 
sold to pay his jail fees. The house that carries on slave-marketing 
on a large scale, drives a snugger business in the manufacturing 
way. " Know ye the land ?" It is " the land of the free, and the 
home of the brave ;" and the man-shambles and man-traps that we 
speak of, stand close by the dwelling of the writer of that melliflu- 
ous and satisfactory line. 

2. The other measure of this class is the prohibition, by Act of 
Congress, of the Domestic Slave Trade between the different States 
of the Union. 

The number of slaves annually sold from the more northerly 
Slave States to the South West is believed to be not less than forty 
thousand, yielding (as they are assorted lots) twenty^five millions of 
dollars. It is stated that, in 1836, the amount of sales from Vir- 
ginia alone was twenty-four millions.* 

The sale of forty thousand men, women, and child -en, is easily 
spoken of. It is despatched in a period. But what an untold and 
indescribable aggregation and complication of wretchedness does it 
represent ! Each of those forty thousand was a father or mother, 
brother or sister, husband or wife, with heart-strings to be wrung by 
separation from kindred, and all that from infancy had been loved. 
The Foreign Slave Trade is infamy unredeemed. He who sells or 
buys a negro to be carried from Guinea to Louisiana is a pirate by 
the law of the civilised nations. When we catch him, we hang 
him, and his name, being that of the wicked, rots. Wh9.t is the 
diff'erence between the man who sells from a Guinea barracoon, and 
from a Virginia plantation ? What is the difference between the 
master of the slave ship, and the driver of the slave caravan ? 
What is the difference to the poor outcast sufferer, whether he is 
transported by sea or land ? In one respect, we own, there is a 
difference in favor of the latter. He is spared the terrible tortures 

* The "Virginia Times," as quoted in "Niles's Register." 

6* 



86 THE SLAVE POWER. 

of the middle passage, though even in this particular, if the truth is 
told, the advantage is not so great as might at first sight appear, for 
the hardships are extreme under the convoy of the land pirate, and 
a large per centage of deaths take place. And in another respect, 
the balance is all the other way. Compared with the savage Guinea 
native, the Virginia negro is a being of sensibility and refinement. 
His domestic affections are more human. His home (harsh home 
as it has been) is dearer. How is it that the nation so proudly and 
talkatively virtuous about the Foreign Slave Trade, is so easy and 
content with the Domestic ? 

It is not for want of Constitutional power to carry out the prin- 
ciple to the other application which the principle equally demands. 
"Congress," says the Federal Constitution (Art. I. ■§. 8), "shall 
have power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among 
the several States ;^^ and it was under the former clause of this pro- 
vision that it made the African Slave Trade to be felony. It has 
the same right over the Domestic.'^ It has recognized the existence 
of the right by a practical use of it. By the Act of March 2, 1807, 
masters of vessels, under forty tons burden, are forbidden to trans- 
port coastwise from one port to another in the United States any 
person of color to be sold or held as a slave, under the penalty of 
^800 for every such person so transported ; and by other cogent 
restraints the power of control is assumed and made operative. 
The rightful power that could interdict their conveyance in the 
smaller craft, could interdict it equally in vessels of any tonnage. 
Again, says the Constitution (Ibid. *§> 9), "The migration, or impor- 
tation of such persons as any of the existing States shall think 
proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by Congress prior to the 
year one thousand eight hundred and eight," — the clear implica- 
tion being of a power, after 1808, to prohibit migration, which has 
not yet been done, as well as to prohibit fmportation, which has 
been ; and a clear implication, further, of a power to prohibit 
either emigration or importation at any time, either before or after 
1808, into any States not existing in 1788. 

Is it said that great practical difficulty would attend the execution 
of a law prohibiting the interior migration, because it passes through 
a slave region, interested in its continuance ? There might be. 
But the mere assertion of the principle and rule by Act of Congress 
would be itself of vast importance. The migration too passes 
through Maryland, Western Virginia, and Kentucky, where there 
are many friends of freedom, who would of course be friends to the 
execution of such a law. It passes down the Western rivers, by 
the ports of the Free States of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. When 
ever, by happy fortune, a poor fellow so illegally dealt with, should 
afterwards escape to a place where law prevailed, he could assert a 
legal right to his liberty. And singularly enough, it seems that we 

t A memorial from Boston to Congress, in 1819, urging the exercise of this right, 
bore the names, among others, of Daniel Webster, George Blake, Josiah Quincjr, 
James T. Austin, and John Gallison. 



WHAT MUST THE FREE STATES DO ? 87 

might expect aid in carrying through such a law from the very cen- 
tral focus of the Slave Dominion. The same policy which is lead- 
ing Alabama by its legislation, and has led Mississippi by its Consti- 
tution, to prohibit the immigration of slaves within their own 
borders, might be expected to incline them to prohibit the emigra- 
tion out of the borders of the other States. 

The effects of such a provision would be of the utmost value. It 
would efface one of the saddest features of the institution, by per- 
mitting the poor black to live his life out among his friends, and on 
his native soil. It would lay the axe at the root of critical ques- 
tions with humane and enlightened foreign powers, like the ques- 
tions of the Enterprise and Creole. And indirectly it would strike 
a fatal blow at the continuance of slavery in the northern region of 
the slave country. Slaves are already of little or no value in Vir- 
ginia, except as stock raised for a foreign market. There would be 
no more use for a million of slaves in Virginia than for a million of 
horses in Vermont. A fifth wheel to a coach would be scarcely 
less serviceable ; and, besides, the wheel would not eat. " No- 
where in the farming of the United States," said Mr. Clay, in a 
speech to the Kentucky Colonfzation Society, as long ago as 1829, 
" could slave labor be generally employed, if the proprietors were 
not tempted to raise slaves by the high price of the Southern mar- 
kets." The masters would be forward enough to quit themselves 
of the incumbrance at home, when they could no longer make mer- 
chandize of it abroad. 

We care not to pursue this subject further. Possibly the time 
may come, when the Free States will inquire, whether, under the 
constitutional recognition of slavery by the old Thirteen States, 
original parties to the compact, or in any other way, slavery ever 
acquired a legal existence within the territory, afterwards introduced, 
of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri ; and whether the nation is 
true to its solemn guaranty to South Carolina of " a republican form 
of government," when more than one half of her people is under 
the despotic sway of the rest. If interpretations of the compact, 
to which such questions might lead, should at first view seem bold, 
it is quite clear that they would not be of greater latitude than 
that which admitted Texas. But we hope that before they shall be 
raised, the evil which they might be designed to remove will have 
been quietly abandoned by the parties most interested in its fate. 



NO. XXIV. 



WHAT MUST THE FREE STATES DO ABOUT IT? — WHAT 
MUST MASSACHUSETTS DO? 

The partial reply to the former of these questions, attempted in 
the last number of this series of papers, was confined to particulars 



S8 THE SLAVE POWER. 

in which relief might be obtained by acts of national legislation 
merely, without the need of any modification of the organic law. 
There are other particulars, in which it is the Constitution itself that 
imposes the burdens we groan under. The framers of that instru- 
ment, erroneously supposing that Slavery was not to grow, and that 
it was soon to die, for the sake of union allowed certain immunities 
to the institution, which, could they have anticipated its future ex- 
pansion and mischiefs, they would sooner have perished than per- 
mitted. 

But, in their calm wisdom, they foresaw that experience might 
reveal defects in their frame of government, and they carefully pro- 
vided a peaceable method for introducing such emendations as time 
might show to be needful. Nothing is more prominent in the Con- 
stitution than its self-correcting power. Evils which disclose them- 
selves, and which cannot be corrected under its exising provisions, 
it directs to be redressed by alterations in it ; and the time may not 
be so distant as to most it now appears, when the onerous liabil- 
ities under which we labor may be thrown off by means of the Con- 
stitutional provision for amendments. At all events, whether that 
time is nearer or more remote, depends simply on the will of the 
non-slave-holding voters of this Union, who are to the slave-holding 
voters in the proportion of thirty to one, and who, in every individ- 
ual State, constitute an immense majority. And this fact, that the 
ivill of the voters can immediately give a practical decision even in 
the most difficult and unmanageable case which belongs to the Avhole 
subject, is a justification, and a motive, and a demand, for the most 
energetic and persevering exertions to enlighten and move the pub- 
lic mind. 

The cases of hardship, from which, as long as slavery exists, noth- 
ing short of amendments of the Constitution can give relief, are two. 
The first relates to the distribution of political power. As the con- 
stitution has been used and abused, fourteen slave States, with an 
aggregate free population equal only to that of the two free States 
of New York and Ohio, send to the Senate of the United States 
28 members, and to the House of Representatives 76, while those 
two States have together but four votes in the upper House, and 
55 in the lower. And in the Electoral Colleges the same amount 
of free population which in those fourteen States casts 104 votes 
for President and Vice President, has in New York and Ohio only 
59, — seven more than half the number. 

The second case is that of fugitive slaves, who, if they escape into 
a free State, must, by the Constitution, " be delivered up on claim 
of the party to whom their service or labor may be due." The ob- 
ligation is, to the last degree, revolting and offensive. Recent ex- 
positions of the United States' Supreme Court, of which some of 
the States have availed themselves by making it highly penal for their 
magistrates to have part or lot in the matter, and decisions of the 
State Courts affirming the freedom of the slave brought by his mas- 



WHAT MUST THE FREE STATES DO : ©2' 

ter within their jurisdiction, have greatly limited its applications as 
they were formerly understood. And so unanimous are the people 
getting to be about the iniquity of the transaction, that the provi- 
sion has nearly lost its sting, except as an insult to their moral sense. 
It is true it is not lawful to kick the slave-hunter through and out 
of the free States, but it is perfectly lawful to refuse him a bed, a 
dinner, or a coach, and to hold one's tongue as to the whereabouts 
of his intended victim. The stout Quaker co^ild not, in conscience, 
knock down his pert assailant, but there was nothing to prevent 
his holding him very hard. 

Constitutional amendments, which may be remote, and redress 
by simple legislation, which may be near at hand, are both to be 
aimed at by acting on the public opinion of the country. The 
Free People of these United States are the constitutional consti- 
tution-menders and law-makers. If the evils which have now been 
commented on, — at much greater length than was contemplated 
when the task was undertaken, yet with much less fulness of argu- 
ment and illustration than might have been profitable, — if these evils 
are shameful and monstrous, then it is the part of just and patriotic 
men, disregarding the passions and interests of the hour, the clamor 
of the wicked, and even the coldness and distrust of the good, to 
endeavor to move the people to their overthrow, with the honest 
voice of truth and reason. 

But Congressional legislation is to be what Senators and Repre- 
sentatives in Congress shall will it to be ; and the Slave influence 
in Congress, though ostensibly in a decided minority in one House, 
has hitherto had a most baleful influence in determining that will, 
by a skilful use of the patronage of the government, and by playing 
off" against each other the parties in the Free States. The prospect 
of a foreign embassy, of an Executive department, and other pros- 
pects higher, and others yet much meaner than these, have too often 
proved powerful to sway the representative of freemen from the 
upright but not gainful line of fidelity to the honor and interests 
of his constituents. Many a northern delegate who has gone from 
home, seemingly as stubborn and immovable as the mountains that 
reared him, has not breathed the air of Washington more than long 
enough to find that he has talents for rising, and to show to the 
liers in wait that he is worth securing, before he has begun to be 
bewildered by visions of " my prospects as a public man," a phrase 
heard for the first time (at least in New England) not many years 
ago, and one that has marvellous power to confound his perceptions 
of official morality, and make him useless, or worse, in respect to all 
the highest purposes for which he ought to understand himself to 
have been sent. So that it has come to seem not as safe as could 
be wished, to depute any man from the Free States to the national 
councils, who at the same time has talent to recommend himself to 
the slave-administered national government, and who, for an indefi- 
nite period to come, would consent to receive promotion at its 
hands. 



90 THE SLAVE POWER. 

The Free States, if they would make an effort for rescue from 
this thraldom, must be more careful than they have been, to make 
sure of the character, — the principles, the firmness, and the objects, — 
of those whom they invest with this momentous agency of the share 
that belongs to them in the central administration. The slave- 
ridden South is perfectly true to itself in this matter. Sharply as 
the sham-fight of parties may ring and thunder, in this soft bond 
of amity all parties embrace. Whether the white or the red rose 
triumphs, the man chaired is without fail a stout champion of the 
despotism of the Slave Dominion. It is fully time that the Free 
should take their lesson of unanimity on the fundamental principle 
of social well-being, and take like care of the pretended object of 
their liveliestaffection. But, alas ! 

" While our tyrants joined in hate, 
We never joined in love." 

Tariffs, Sub-Treasuries, and Distributions of Public Lands, are very 
important things. Parties at the North have disagreed upon them, 
and may continue to disagree. But the claims of justice and 
humanity, and the priceless worth of liberty, are things far more 
important, and upon these they profess to be of one accord. If so, 
it should be as impossible for any man to receive the trust of rep- 
resenting them in the sovereign halls of their country's legislation, 
who does not hate slavery with a deadly immitigable hatred, as it 
is, as yet, for any man to receive that trust at the South, who does 
not roll the poison as a sweet morsel under his tongue. 

When the Free States have mustered their honest strength, and 
displayed their long columns, marshalled for the right, in the House 
of Representatives, they will not look long to see the bug-bear im- 
pediment in the other House give way. In that progress of opin- 
ion which has auspiciously begun, it would not be half as surprising 
as many a political change that has happened in our day, — the event 
is by no means as improbable as the Annexation of Texas seemed 
four years ago, — to see the Congressional delegations of Delaware, 
Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky, in both Houses of Congress, 
elected by, and voting with, the non-slaveholding Friends of Amer- 
ican Freedom. This may well come to pass, before those States 
shall be ripe fof legislation in favor of emancipation within their 
borders. And the favor and confidence of the vast majority of 
non-slaveholders. North and South, when they have come to show 
something of their numbers and power in Congress, will nerve and 
encourage their allies in the afflicted region, and strengthen their 
efforts to upheave the giant evil. 

But the way to bring this about, is not for freemen to be dumb, 
either in their own circles, or in expostulations with their brethren at 
the South. It is absolutely and demonstrably a common interest. 
We are their friends, when we entreat them to clear themselves and 
us from this four-fold curse, though they will not yet believe it ; and 



WHAT MUST MASSACHUSETTS DO ? 91 

by-and-by they will thank us, — they and theirs, — from the deepest 
depths of their hearts, for any thing we may have done towards 
opening their eyes to the hideous calamity and sin. 

Meanwhile, a question for those whom these papers reach, is, 
What must Massachusetts do ? She is a little Commonwealth, but 
still a great deal bigger in population, wealth, and all the better 
things that " constitute a State," than South Carolina, which so 
long has swayed, to such disastrous issues, the opinion of the South, 
and through that, the destiny of the nation. Massachusetts, small 
as she is, is marked by her history and by some other tokens, as the 
natural leader in the struggle for freedom. She spoke the nation 
into independence with the trumpet voices of her Faneuil Hall, and 
the sharper echoes of her Concord and Bunker Hill. It is her mis- 
sio7i to lead the way in the redemption of the relapsed nation from 
a yet baser than its colonial yoke. She has filled New England 
with her great ancestral spirit. The homes of the nurslings of her 
generous breast stand thick upon the sward of Ohio and Western 
New York. The emigrant of the more distant West recounts, as 
his exiled heart's dearest treasures, the sacred lessons of her schools 
and churches, and will yet repeat them in tones to be heard and 
noted of all men. Call her little, if you will, when you are speak- 
ing words of ceremony. But call her great, as she is, when her 
responsibility is in question. Point to the page, bearing the record 
of what is honorable in this people's history, where her name does 
not stand in characters of light. Imagine the time when awful ca- 
lamity and guilt shall have stricken down this nation, and when the 
first inquiry of the explorer of the course of past events will not 
be. What was Massachusetts doing in that crisis of ruin, — the land 
of the Carvers and Winthrops, the Otises, the Warrens, the 
Adamses, the Quincys? After her ages of glory, was she disgraced 
at last by a caitiff inaction while shame and misery deluged the 
land, or did she keep her brave fame pure to the end by falling in 
the good fight, in the last ditch of liberty ? 

It is never worth while to deem meanly of the agency which 
occasion may demand from any community or any man. The 
greatness of the occasion imparts a greatness to the righteous and 
steady act of the humblest. And Providence has not cast our lot 
in a dark corner. We men of Massachusetts of this age have a 
function, the accomplishment of which, for better or worse, Vv'ill 
stand, long after moth and rust shall have corrupted all the factories 
and their fabrics, and the thief time shall have pilfered all this gen- 
eration's heaps of gold. In the present momentous attitude of 
things, the world has an eye on the dwellers of that stormy coast which 
welcomed the forlorn but unconquerable fugitives of freedom in the 
seventeenth century ; and posterity, after seventeen centuries more, 
will turn back with a blazing torch to search them and their 
doings out. 

If we of Massachusetts do not fill our proper place, there is a 



92 THE SLAVE POWER, 

prospect that others will, so imminent is the occasion, and so widely 
is already a free spirit kindled. Perhaps, for the moment, New 
Hampshire and Maine are stepping in a little before us. It has not 
been our practice to allow them to be bearers of the standard, 
but if we do not mean that they should now be, it is time to be 
grasping it with our own hand, and passing to our place in the van. 
Vermont and Connecticut, and the great North West, are looking 
to see how we demean ourselves at this juncture, and to honor us 
with a place in their leading, or to leave us out and behind, accord- 
ing as we are recreayt or true. 

But true we shall be, without fail. They stupidly misjudge the 
people of Massachusetts, who think that they can marshal her par- 
ties, and carry her votes, and at the same time bid her be laggard 
and neutral while a great work of virtue and patriotism is going 
on. Her people love thrift. They ought to love it. But they who, 
at home or abroad, think to govern her through that impulse, have 
not read the primer of her history ; they have not learned the al- 
phabet of her character. There is a high prevailing integrity among 
her people. Nothing moves them like a great moral principle. At 
the last fall elections, forty thousand voters, more than a quarter of 
the whole number, stayed at home. Why did they so ? All sorts 
of political isms were rife. Why were they so? Because there 
was wanting a sufficiently strong moral bond of union in the old 
organizations. In great part because, on the foremost moral and 
political question of the age, one of the leading parties was rotten 
to the core, and the other was not thought sufficiently its opposite. 
The rejection, by last winter's Senate, of Mr. Wilson's Resolves, 
occasioned grief and otFence to numbers. That error must be some- 
how retrieved, or the mutual confidence that has subsisted has re- 
ceived a well-nigh fatal wound. 

There is a great deal to be done, North and South, before the 
magnificent idea of the authors of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, and of the Constitution of the United States, shall 
be realized. But they who are looking up to that accomplish- 
ment are cheered by all good omens. They have that which in 
antiquity was thought the best ; " the best of all omens is, to be 
struggling for our country." They have that of the sympathy and 
good wishes of all civilized and Christian men beyond the sea. 
They have that of the invincible vigor of truth and righteousness. 
They have that of the smile of the omnipotent God of justice 
and love. 

We have brought our own humble task to a close. In parts it 
has been a harsh and painful one, though not without its satisfac- 
tions in expressions of the approbation of good men. May He, 
whose favor is light and strength, prosper the poor endeavor ! It 
was for a great purpose, and it was well meant, however feebly 
executed.