PLEAS FOE SLAVEKY ANSWERED.
By GEORGE THOMPSON,
MEXDI MISSION, WEST AFRICA.
^^ Slavery has done good." "■The Slaves are hetier off than the
natives of Africa,''^ etc., etc.
These, and siicli like excuses are great favorites in the
mouths of those who wish to find some palliation for
They form a very convenient rebut to the arguments
of Anti-slavery men ; which may tend, in a measure,
to quiet the minds of those conndbted with the guilt of
If the sentiment is truey as the objectors claim, then
they may well confirm them in their course. But if it is
not true, then should it be known ; and those who are
in any way engaged, or implicated in the guilt of Slavery,
should be made to feel their guilt — to confess, and to re-
pent, and to cease all connections therewith, at once.
I propose very briefly, to answer these objections, in
accordance with the request of a good brother in Ken-
tucky, considering them as one and the same.
To understand whether Slavery has been a Uessing to
the colored race, it will be necessary to enquire.
1 . What was and iSy the condition of Africans j in their
native state, uninfluenced by Slavery, or the Slave trade ?
2. What is the mode of obtaining them for Slaves. ■
2 PLEAS FOU SLAVERY ANSWERED.
3. What is their condition in their state of Slavery,
4. What '^ good'* has accrued to them from Slavery.
6. What efezt, has Slavery had on them, as respects
their being henefitted by the labors of white men,
6. What haYB been the results en Africa, from Slavery
and the Slave trade.
7. What would have been the condition of Africa, but for
Slavery, and the Slave trade,
8. Ca7i Liberia be considered proof of the good results of
9. If Slavery has done no good, to those in Slavery or
to the Continent of Africa, but, on the contrary, if all the
Qood claimed, has resulted directly from Freedom ; " Im-
mediate Emancipation," should be the watchword of
lU. An appeal, in behalf of poor, robbed, and spoiled
I. What was, and is the condition of Africans, in their
native state, uriinfuenced by Slavery, and the Slave
We are informed by writers of authority, that before
the introduction of the Slave trade into Western Africa,
the inhabitants were peaceful, harmless, and as industri-
ous, as their wants demanded ; that they cultivated their
lands, raising abundance of rice, Indian corn, sweet pota-
toes, beans, pumpkins, etc. ; that they lived in peace
with one another, and all around ; that they had forms
of law, by which crimes were severely punished— such
as theft, adultery, murder, etc. ; that they were hospita-
ble and kind to strangers, being ready to accommodate
and assist them, to the extent of their ability ; that they
were kind to the aged and infirm ; that they not un-
PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED. 3
frequently rendered assistance to neighboring tribes, who
were brought iato suffering circumstances ; that they
had plenty of sheep, goats, fowls, etc., etc., in their
native simplicity ; that they lived as happily as any can
be expected to do, who have not the blessicg-s of civili-
zation and the gospel. Such are known to be facts.
Of the present inhabitants, it is not so easy to speak,
as we can scarcely find a tribe, or a place, where the
influences of the Slave trade have not been felt — directly
or indirectly, to a greater or less degree. But this much
we can sav from observations of our oivn, and others ; that
the farther hack we get, the letter the natives appear —
less degraded, less vicious, less of the mere animal, less
adultery, theft, etc. — less of the low, vulgar, despicable
meanness, contracted from Slave traders — less of the vices
of the whites, intemperance, profanity, quarreling, etc.
They are more noble, openhearted, free, generous, hos-
pitable, kind to strangers — more magnanimous in all
their dealings and general conduct, more ready to hear
the oospel and receive instruction, and help Missionaries.
As the traveler gets some 200 miles interior, he is
treated like a kin^ ; rice, and the productions of the
country, are lavished upon him with a bountiful hand ;
fowls, goats, sheep and oxen are killed for him ; fine
country cloths presented to him — servants appointed to
see that every want is supplied ; guides provided for his
journey, etc., etc., "without money, and without price."
So far as I know, this is true of all the Western coast of
Africa. It is the testimony of travelers of all classes,
from all jioints.
The coast regions are almost constantly harassed and
desolated by internal wars, which may all be clearly traced
to the influences of Slavery, and the Slave, trade ; the
general object being to obtain Slaves, for barter, to pro-
4 PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
cure rum, tobacco, powder, guns, trinkets, etc., from
There are wars in the interior, now and then, but these
also ma)' be positively traced to the same influences,
reachins: back, like the spreadinor waves, when water is
The influence of Slavery comes down from the North,
throuo-h the Moorish and Mohammedan Slave trade. It
rolls back from the West, and comes from the Eastern
But even the 2:>rese?it condition of the inhabitants,
speaks loudly in their favor, especially when we get a
little back from the influences of the Slave trade.
They have a rich country in soil, stone, minerals, tim-
ber, water, waterfalls, animals, fish, game, the tropical
productions, an excellent climate, etc.
When the influence of Slavery is not directly operating,
causing contests, and strifes for Slaves, when — peace pre-
vails only for a year or two, the whole country soon puts
on the appearance of prosperity. Numerous and large
towns spring up like mushrooms, in every direction^ the
country is generally brought under cultivation, abund-
ance of rice, guinea corn, pota, coco, cassada, yams,
sweet potatoes, corn, pea nuts, arrow root, beans, pump-
kins, etc., etc. ; with the fruits orange, pine apple, guava,
sour-sop, sweet sop, pawpaw, plantain, banana, mango,
cocoa nut, etc., etc. are produced for home consump-
tion, and large amounts for sale.
In addition, they enrich themselves by the manufac-
ture of large quantities of palm oil, (made from the red,
oily covering of the nut), and nut oil, (made from the
meat of the nut), baskets, bowls, earthen pots, fine coun-
try cloths, the best quality of iron, ivory, etc., etc.
They live in towns, and families, having their own
I>LEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
houses, farms, and earnings — so that we see the influ-
ences of Slavery, even here, and now, where the whole
country has been desolated for centuries, only need to
cease for a short time, before the people, under all their
disadvantages, with all their acquired views, will again
live in peace, having an abundance of all that nature
Even now, let the Slave trade cease entirely, and for-
ever, and let Missionaries come, in suitable numbers, and
even this part of Africa shall soon be made to " bud and
blossom as the rose."
Amon.a,', even the interior tribes, there is a sjJecies of
Slavery, but in no way to be compared with American
Slavery. Take one case ; A noted and peaceful king,
living about 150 or 200 miles from the coast, (but not
beyond the influence of the Slave trade — for many of the
''Amistads" came from that region,) named Kinda,
(uncle of Keima the Armistad, ) boasts that he has more
slaves than any two or three kings that can be found any
whereabout. But, what is the condition of his slaves ?
I have it from a Missionary who visited Kilda, that when
he buys a slave, he has the man work a farm for him,
two years — then says to him, ** Go, and set down for
yourself — build a hou?e — have your farm ; you are your
own master." His great effort is to get slaves, and they
are thus treated. In this way, he obtains their love,
gratitude, and confidence, so that should War come
against him, every one of these liberated slaves, to a
man, will rush to his defence. This is his pohcy and
And the Slavery that exists near the coast, is hardly
worthy of the name, if compared with American Slavery.
It is true, they are bought and sold — but overworking,
cruel beating, maiming, killing, mind-crushing, are rarely
6 PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
known. They generally have their own farms, the pro-
duce of which they can use for themt; elves. They can
travel — hire out, talk palavers, have riglds, are yet con-
sidered men ! and in a measure treated as such.
The hardest slave hc.lding king I know of, told me,
** My 'people all work five days for me, and two for
So that, if the Africans mu8t be slaves, they had bet-
ter be slaves in thciir own country, where they have rights
— a free mind, and the possibility of hearing, from the
Missionary, a pure gospel, and be more likely to gain
heaven at last.
II. What is the mode of obtaining slaves, in Africa^
That the reader may have a distinct view of the pro-
cess of getting slaves, on the coast of Africa, the vari-
ous steps shall be mentioned separately, so that, by view-
ing the system in all its parts, the whole may be better
1. A slave ship arrives at the mouths of some ot the
rivers — it may be Spanish, or American, (for il is be-
lieved that American vessels, and captains, carry on the
Slave trade, as extensively as the Spanish or Brazilians.)
It is loaded with rum, tobacco, trinkets, powder, and
muskets, etc. Probably, there are agents residing at the
place, to receive the goods and furnish a return cargo of
Stipulations are entered into, with the native chiefs,
for so many slaves. They are provided with rum, to
madden — tobacco to stupify, and powder and muskets,
to kill resistinof victims.
Various trinkets are sold to them — to serve as power-
ful charmSy warranted to insure victory and success in
PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED. 7
their kidnapping excursions, and to protect them from
all evil — others as costly and gay ornaments, of which
all Africans are very fond.
From $10 to .^25 worth of these goods, at 300 or 400
per cent, profit, and oftentimes as many thousand per
cent, profit, pays for one slave 1 The vessel will take
from 500 to 1000, according to its size and internal
2. Oftentimes, these agents and robbers stroll about,
and watch for opportunities to seize children, who have
strayed away from, or have been sent by their parents on
errands. They are suddenly pounced upon, bound,
gagged, and dragged away to a place of confinement.
The child struijales and tries to scream, but no one comes
to its assistance. The poor mother, almost frantic with
grief, searches the neighborhood and forests — she tears
at her hair, cuts her flesh, and moans inconsolably. Day
after day, week after week, is thus spent in hopeless grief
and fruitless search ! And in this way many, from time
to time, are snatched away from parents and home
. Parents ! you who have youthful girls and boys, imag-
ine your feelings, thus suddenly to lose them, and
answer, is this one of the 'good' things which Slavery-
Thousands of African mothers are thus robbed yearly ! 1
Will you pity them ?
Not only the foreign robbers., are thus engaged, but,
natives are hired to do the same for them, and ofttimes,
wicked natives who have learned the practice from the
whites, watch their opportunity, as they rove about the
country, hundreds of miles interior, to seize children, and
hurry them to the coast, to sell to the inhuman monsters
who are ever eagerly waiting to receive them.
b PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
This is one mode of obtaining slaves, but not the most
general and destructive. Next to be mentioned —
3. To make up the necessary number, the chief, who
has received the goods, calls together his warriors,
makes a speech to them, directs their minds to some
particular town, far or near, as the case may be, brino-s
some accusation against its king and people, and charges
them to go and seek revenge or "satisfaction." An ap-
peal is made to their bravery ; they are supplied with
rum, tobacco, guns, and cutlasses. Many are furnished
with Kome special gregrees, especially the generals. At
times, (as I have seen,) some holy water is spiinkled
over the whole company, to render them invulnerable,
as they superstitiously believe, and thus charged by their
king, maddened by liquid poison, inflamed with desire for
honor, and stimulated by love oi gain, the wild troop
rush forth, with fiendish yells (I have seen it,) to the
'* Bush," eager for the pursuit.
In single file they make their way along some country
path, or cut their i oad through unbroken forests, till ihey
approach near the town marked for destructicn. They
hold a *« council of war," lay their plans of attack, stim-
ulate each other, and await the darkness of midniirht, till
the unsuspecting inhabitants are lest in slumbers, and ail
are oti' their guard.
Suddenly the attack n made, the wall or fence is scaled
— tlie gates are thrown open — the destroyers rush in — the
people, alarmed, arise to See — all is tumult and confu-
sion ; at every turn they meet the enemy ; they are shot,
chopped with cutlasses, seized and bound, by scores,
by hundreds ! Many are killed in the aiTray, a few
escape-; the town is fired, and, in a it^ minutes, lies in
If they secure- victims enough they return ; if not,
PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED. 9
another town is attacked, and another, till I have known
six or eight towns thus destroyed, within twenty-four
hours of the first attack.
Oftentimes, they find the town guard on the watch, and
then they meet with resistance. The struggle is severe ;
by the firing of muskets from within and without, many
are killed. At times, the War succeed in breaking into
the town ; then follows a scene beyond description ; mad-
dened by opposition and loss, they are like fierce tigers,
poimcing upon their prey. All that can be seized are
bound, with bush ropes, very uncomfortably, to be led
to their master.
At other times, the War is '* driven," and they retire,
only to strengthen themselves and renew the attack.
Again, when unable to break into the town, they sur-
round it, and, by throwiug firebrands within, succeed in
igniting the thatched 'rools, and hundreds perish in the
fiames. Those who run, are caught and bound.
Thus, a town of from 500 to 1000 inhabitants, may be
all destroyed in a night ; — perhaps every family broken,
and scattered — parents killed, and childien taken prison-
ers, or children killed and parents prisoners, or both
together prisoners, to be separated by the fiends who
await the m — or to faint and die, as is often the case, on
the march to the coast. For from their oppressors they
find but little mercy. Bound with hands behind them,
lastened to each other, they are driven by day and night,
with little or nothing to eat, with bleeding wounds, and
swelling limbs, (from the tightness of the cords,) till
they fall, unable to proceed ; they are then dispatched,
and left for the leopards or vultures to consume.
They arrive at the coast, with perhaps 50, or 100, or
300 prisoners, old and young, male and female, mothers
and children. Many of them are thinking of their
10 PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
friends, tlieir homes ; they see strange faces, and hear
voices new and frightful ; they are afraid — they tremble
and weep — they refuse to eat, are flogged and beaten, but
persist, till death relieves them !
These are scenes, (but very faintly pictured,) which
have been transpiring from Senegal, to the Congo rivers,
ior hundreds ol years, and are transpiring to-day, and
CONTINUALLY in manv parts of the western and eastern
coast of Africa.
How ^' goocV^ all this is 1 What a *' hlessing^'' to them !
How much '' better o/f" than in tlieir quiet homes, and
plenty around them ! !
4. At the various slave trading points, Spaniards and
others live — making their home there, and living with the
native women, as beasts. Their business is to gather in,
and keep on hand, a supply of slaves, so that whenever
a vessel succeeds in eludini^ the observation of the Eno-lish
cruisers, (the American try not to take slavers,) and gets
into the river, or anchors off, it may all be loaded with
its cfirgo of 400 to 700 or 800 human beings, in one night,
and be under sail before day !
The buildings in which the slaves are thus kept, are
called "Barracoons." They are very extensive country
houses, made strong and secure, sufficient often to contain
1000 slaves. In these places they are generally kept
chained and handcuffed, especially if there is any suspi-
cion of their desire to get away, or intent to resist.
They are here made io fear the tyrants. They are often
most unmercifully flogged and beaten, and not unfre-
quently killed. They are branded with peculiar marks,
half starved, maimed, and treated in such a way, as beg-
gars all description. The women, of course, arc all at
the will and desire of their beastly overseers.
Thus they are kept, crowded together, as cattle are not
PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED. 11
crowded, for months, and sometimes, perhaps, for a year
or more, till an opportunity offers to ship tliem.
At times, if an Enylish man oT war hovers around,
or anchors off, the whole company in chains are hurried
into the Bush till their enemies depart.
These Barracoons formerly existed at the mouth of
the river on which I now live ; at Gallinas, etc., where
they were destroyed by the English. But they yet exist
on many parts of the coast, and tens of thousands are
continually crowded within their dark and dismal con-
fines, to weep over lost friends — to mourn over their
daily tortures, never to be exposed till the Judgment — to
pine away grievous weeks, and months, longing for death 1
0, readers, is not this a very '^ good" thing? Will
not some of those who talk of ^'benefits" to the slave from
slavery desire to come and taste for the)nselves, these
sweets ? Would that they could have oke taste ! They
would cr}?- *' enough!"
5. The Slave Ship! Who can describe it? Lan-
guage is weak, and fails to convey accurate ideas, when
called to this task. See its dark, low hulk, as if just
from the pit ! — its raking masts, as if conscious of the
meanness and guilt of its errand, and desiring to escape
as fast as possible, (for they are generally of the very
fastest class of sailers.)
If it is calculated to take only four hundred or five
hundred slaves, it will have one slave deck, from two and
a half to three feet below the main deck. If it is expect-
ed to take eight bundled or one thousand, it will liave
two slave decks below the main deck. They are often
armed with from one to twelve large guns, for defence,
in case of an attack.
Now comes the loading. All the canoes and boats at
command are brought into requisition, and rapidly filled
12 TLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
with weeping fathers, shrieking mothers, and terrified
children, fiercely cut by the gory lash as ihey shrink back,
unwillinsf to leave the land of their birth for land of stran-
gers, and a life of suffering and woes unutterable. They
reach the vessel, load after load, load after load, and
are stowed away in the hold, as thick as they can sit
between each other's legs, upon the floor, with barely
room to sit upright, till the cargo is complete ! In this
condition they are often shackled together, to prevent their
rising. They can neither rise, turn over, or change their
position, but must thus sit, in all their- filthy for from four
to eight weeks, till the bones wear through the skin !
till the stifled and impure air poisons them, and from one-
fourth to one-half of the number die on the passage, and
are thrown overboard to the sharks, which follow in vast
numbers for prey ! I am not using hyperbole. I have
been on, and seen with my own eyes, what I describe. I
have seen them thus packed away, and been almost
"knocked down" by the putrid effluvia which arose
through the grated hatchways, which were the only *'air
holes" the miserable victims had. I have seen their
emaciated skeletons, sunken eyes, and countenances of
despair, after being thus confined for five or six weeks.
But I can't describe the sio:hl. How '* good !" What
** BENEFITS " are heaped upon them ! ! !
6. Tho?e who survive the dreadful passage, at length
arrive at Brazil, or Cuba, or New Orleans, to be sold to
the highest bidder. They are brought ashore, washed
up, and dressed, (how wonderfully *'good" ! !) to await
the arrival of purchasers. They are in a strange land,
see strange faces, and hear strange voices. They are glad
to get out of the slave ship, but they look back over the
ocean, if possibly they may see, once more, their home —
" sweet home " — now forever lost to them. See them
PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED. 13
tremble ! See the tears trickle down their sunken cheeks !
See them yet sicken and die, from the deadly vapois in-
haled on the slave ship ! ! Now, if, perchance, friends,
and parts of families, and old acquaintances have kept
together, they are parted, to go, one here to the cane field,
another to the cotton plantation, to see each other no
more. They are ordered by tongues unintelligible — they
are beaten, because ihey obey not, till death relieves them.
Thus we have very briefly glanced at how the slaves are
obtained. The reader must judge of the ^^ benefits^* of
the process. And how much ^'better of" than in their
balmy homes and happy families, ihey are, thus far, in
our investigation, let every honest mind answer.
And who are to be held responsible for all the hor-
rible cruelties endured in Africa — for all the murders of
tens of thousands, yearly, in obtaining them — for all the
horrors of the barracoons — for the untold, and unspeak-
able agonies of the ** middle passage," and the shocking
deaths of countless unoffending human beings on the
sea 1 Who 1 In which side of the balances are these
things to be placed 1 and where is the *^ good'"' to coun-
terbalance ? All these dreadful realities are ever to be
kept in mind, if we would rightly decide this matter.
Let slaveholders, and all their apologists, remember and
know, that if they justify and uphold the system of
slavery, all these things are but the necessary parts and
appendages of it, and must be kept united to it, so that
the whole guilt of all, from beginning to end, must lie at
their doors and be required at their hands ! ! Fearful
responsibility ! !
III. What is their condition, in their state of Slavery ?
Of the millions of Slaves in South America, Cuba,
&c., &c., I think the objector will not claim for them that
14 PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
they are "better off," have "received greater good,'* and
"enjoy superior advantages," to their ancestors in Africa.
For is it not almost universally true of tliem that they
have no religious privileges, or if any, those which are
false ; that they are worked and beaten worse than the
brutes, and often flogged to death ? Are they not, still,
as really heathen as in Africa, with the addition of all the
ills necessarily connected with Slavery ? Of these, there-
fore, I need not stop to speak, as there will not be any
diflference of opinion respecting them. But of those in
the United States, it is claimed that they have been great-
ly benefitted by being brought from Africa to America ;
that their state in Slavery is far preferable to what it was
in Africa; that they are now "better off" than their
brethren who yet remain in Africa ! On the point,
" What is their condition, as Slaves ?" I need not dwell.
There have been so many books written within the last
twenty-five years, so many papers published, so many
lectures given — so much, much, much said upon it — and
all have read "Uncle Tom," North and South — that to
say more, is only to repeat what has been said a hundred
times before, in manifold forms. I will, therefore, just
note a few leading heads, to be filled up by the reader's
memory and own knowledge. They shall he fads, which
no honest, enlightened slaveholder can deny, and which,
therefore, need not be dwelt on.
1. They are, in the United States, sold as beasts, held
and treated as such. See the laws of all slaveholding
2. Knowledge is vigilantly vjithheld from them. Masters
fear it. Slave laws prohibit it, with heavy penalties, and
numbers have been imprisoned for teaching Slaves to read
even the Word of God. The mind is crushed and not
allowed to act, till, from generation to generation, it be-
PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED. 15
comes dwarfed. There are some brilliant exceptions, but
such is the fact with the mass.
3. They toil without wages, except what is neces-
sary to gird them to do more work for their proud
4. They are often cruelly beaten, maimed, and killed.
This cannot be denied. Every newspaper in the South
will testify, by their numerous advertisements. We do
not say that all are thus beaten, but their condition ren-
ders them liable, and from it they have no protection by
5. Families are broken up — the marriage relation is
not regarded, as a general thing, any more than with the
farmer's horses and cows.
6. In their condition, necessarily, they can have no
rights of property — of self, wife, or children — all belong
to the master, (by Slave laws,) as much as his hogs and
7. The mass of Slaves in the United States are as per-
fect heathens as can be found in Africa, with the addition
of having contracted the vices of the whites. For proof,
see reports of Southern Synods, Presbyteries, Confer-
ences, &c., and consider how it must be from the nature
of the case. Every intelligent slaveholder knows it must
be so — it can't be otherwise, in their condition.
8. The religious instruction they do receive, is oral,
and adapted to render their condition, as Slaves, more
secure to ike master. If proof is demanded, I must refer
the doubter to C. C. Jones' " Catechism for Slaves," and
to the *' Book of Sermons, Tracts, and Dialogues," for
the use of masters in instructing their Slaves, by Rev.
"Wm. Meade, of Virginia. I might quote largely, but
my design and limits forbid. Of true religion, the mass
have no idea. Under the instructions they receive, they
16 PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
must necessarily be led to believe that the religion they
hear of, is consistent with their being held as Slaves ! !
They are taught, catechised, and preached to, by slave-
holders, often by those who are holding them as Slaves,
or h-^ ministers who justify the relation of master and
slave — and how can it be otherwise than that their ideas
of religion must be false and deceptive ? That some gtt
light enough to be saved, we believe ; but we are speak-
ing of the mass.
9. All this is true in the Northern Slave States even ;
but in the " So2dh,'' ! who does not know of the cus-
tom of "grinding to death a set of hands in seven
years 1" — of the peck of corn a week — of the blood-
hounds — of the Slave hunts — of the Legrees, &c., &c. ?
See « A Thousand Witnesses," ''Key to Uncle Tom," the
advertisements, continually, in Southern papers. I will
not dwell on the subject.
10. The mass of the Slaves are dreadfully prejudiced
against the whites, in general, which prevents their re-
ceiving instruction from their hands with confidence ; but
more of this shortly. Can any one of the above facts
be denied ? If not, then we have found no '' ffood,'* as
yet, it has done them to become Slaves, but, on the con-
trary, '* Evil, and only evil, continually," from their
capture in the interior of Africa, to their death on the
plantation. But we will seek yet farther for the remark-
able "benefof* spoken of.
ly. The " good'- the Slaves have obtained.
1. Many have made their esccT^e, gained knowledge,
and are exerting an influence for *' good^* — lecturing,
preaching, teaching, publishing papers, books, &c.
Thank God for this, but no thanks to Slaverv. It is all
PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED. 17
by getting rid of it. "But," says tlie objector, '*bad
tbey never been brougbt bere as Slaves, tbey never
"would bave tbus become useful." Hold ! bold ! are you
a propbet ? Are tbere no distinguisbed foreigners in tbe
United States, wbo were not brougbt tbere as Slaves ?
And no one can tell but tbat if tbere bad been a proper
commercial intercourse between America and Africa,
insiead of tbe Slave trade for two bundred years, we
sbould never bave bad a bundred times as many intelli-
gent and useful colored men and women.
A few of tbe tbree and a balf millions bave obtained
true ligbt — but for Slavery, a tbousand times as many
migbt bave been enligbteiied, and now be useful to
2. Mucb stress bas been laid on tbe case of tbe
"Learned Slave," in tbe Soutb, wbo acquired a knowl-
edge of Greek, Latin, Hebrew, (fee, wbile a Slave, and
was purcbased by friends and sent to Liberia. I tbink bis
name is Ellis. This case is all against tbe system. For
if, now and then, one can do such things with all tbeir
disadvantage?, what would tbey not do, give them a good
opportunity ? But I have been informed, by a captain
wbo is well acquainted with Ellis in Liberia, tbat be is of
but little account after all, owing, probably, to tbe curs-
ing influence of Slavery on bis mind and heart.
3. Tens of thousands are now free in Canada, wbere
they may gain knowledge, wealth, and domestic bliss.
But no thanks to Slavery, for their improved state.
Had they been left in Africa, tbey would bave been free,
and in cii'cumstances much better suited to receive in-
struction, being free from tbe accursed prejudices and
influences which Slavery has bad upon them. It cannot
be said that their condition is improved.
4. Tbere are thousands of "professors" among the
18 PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
slaves, and we believe many have been and will be
saved, but not so many as some suppose, because they
are not allowed to know what true religion is. In much
of their religion, they are just as benighted and super-
stitious, as the natives in Africa. They have their forms,
and so do idolaters. They are sincere, and so are idola-
ters. But *' Faith cometh bv hearing, and hearing by
the Word of God." And if they are not allowed to have
the Word of God, and if their instructions are all false,
and the true way of salvation is not made known to them,
how can they be saved ? But if any are, or have been,
saved, give God the glory — no thanks to Slavery — all in
spite of it. Slavery did all it could to prevent, and crush
out of them, all such knowledge and feeling. To this,
Slave laws, and thousands of witnesses in the South, can
testify. If, therefore, any have been, or are saved, the
most favorable construction that can be given to it is
this — ** Thou wilt cause the wrath of man to praise Thee,
and the remainder of v/rath wilt Thou restrain." There
is nothing in Slavery at all calculated to do them any
good — nothing calculated to enlighten or save — nothing
to tit for business or usefulness.
V. What effect has Slavery had on them, as resjjects their
being 'benefitted by the labors of white men ?
I hesitate not to say, and those who know both sides
of the question will agree with me, that of the three and
a half millions of Slaves in the United States, the mass
of them are a more hopeless and difficult people to en-
lighten and save, even were all Slavery restraints broken
off to-day, than the pure natives of Africa.
1. On account of the dwarfing process they have been
put through for centuries. 2. On accourt of the bitter,
PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED. 19
deep rooted prejudices, universal among them, against
the white man. 3. On account of ther vices they have
contracted from the whites.
I am positive on this point. 1 have Hved among
Slaves, free colored people, those who have escaped
from Slavery, and for nearly five years among Africans.
Some of my missionary associates have been teachers
and preachers among them in Canada, before coming
here, and they will agree with me.
My classmates have labored for ten years among
liberated Slaves, and they testify clearly on this point.
Every missionary in Jamaica will bear testimony to the
same ; and all who have had to do with those who have
long felt the cursed, withering influence of Slavery, and
have gained but a slight knowledge of Africa, will unite
their willinsj testimony.
In the United States, they hate : here, they love the
In the United States, they despise; here, they respect him.
In the United States they scorn his instructions ; here,
they receive them.
Wherein, then, have they been benefitted by the re-
moval from Africa to the United States ? Where are the
good results to be found ? Vv^e wish to see them.
VI. What have heen the results 071 Africa, from Slavery
and the Slave trade ?
This has been touched upon in Chapter II., where the
difference was shewn between those who live within its
influence and those who do not, I will not repeat.
Slavery and the Slave trade have rendered the millions
of Africa, where their bhghting influences have been felt,
one hundred fold more 'Ufficult of access, than before, or
than those nations are now where the curse has not
20 PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
1. It has introduced rum, and the slavish love of it,
every where thafnts foot has touched ; and who needs to
be told of the obstacle this forms, in the way of truth,
any w^here ?
2. Tobacco is also co-extensive with its deadening in-
fluences, to hlunt the point of truth.
3. The habit and love of theft, dishocesty, disregard
of the rights of others, laziness, contempt ot work, desire
for foreign articles of clothing and ornaments, &c. &c.,
have been every where engendered through the influence
of the Slave trade.
4. A disregard of the liberties of others, provided gain
and power may be obtained at the expense thereof, has
been imparted to those who have been familiar with the
buying and selling of men, wom.en, and children, for
gain. And let every faithful minister " South," testify
whether this is an obstacle or not in the way of the free
march of truth.
5. Many other vices and habits of mind have been en-
tailed on this people bj^ the same influences, which I can-
not stop to enumerate. We meet them at every step.
Physically, the whole coast country has been swept
th the ''besom of destruction," as was touched upon in
the chapter on "How the Slaves are obtained." The
greater portion of the people have been carried away,
or killed. The country, to a great measure, is grown
up to bush, and leopards and beasts of prey abound in
In whatever light we contemplate the subject, it will
appear the eftects on Africa have been ruinous in the
extreme. It is a country, and they are a people, *' scat-
tered and peeled," and for all this, a dreadful account is
approaching. Slaveholders must meet it. To this, every
missionary who has ever labored in Africa will bear their
VII. What would have been the condition of Africa, hut
for Slavery and. the Slave trade?
This may seem a difficult question to answer. By in-
ference, it has already been answered, in showing the
effects and influences of the Slave trade, and I will only
add — 1. The greatest obstacles in the way of the mis-
PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED. 21
sionary, umdd not have been. 2. Labor put forth for her
good, would have been, perhaps, a thousand times more
effective. 3. Africa would have invited missionaries, and
hundreds would have come where one has now come, to
do her good. 4. And now, knowledge would have been
spread abroad, the idols would have been abolished, su-
perstition done away, the arts would have been intro-
duced, with civilization and Christianity, and Africa
would have arisen among the nations of the earth, hon-
ored and sought after by all, instead of being, as now, "a
shaking of the head," and a *'by word among the na-
tions."° Now where is the ''good" so much spoken of?
Wherein are children of Africa, at home or abroad,
** better off'' for Slavery ]
VIII. Can Liberia be considered us a proof of the good
residts cf Slavery ?
We unhesitatingly answer NO, Never !
1. Other colonies have been formed, that were not
the children of Slavery. And but for the evil influences
of Slavery for two hundred years, in Africa and in Amer-
ica, Christian colonies might, and, doubtless, would have
been formed, to bless, and elevate, and save Airica.
The Slave trade was as a death chill to every thought,
or attempt toward such a movement.
2. Liberia has not been carried forward, and never
can be sustained, by Slaves, nor by *' Liberated Slaves."
Those who go from plantations to Liberia — having been
freed for this purpose — are not prepared, nor at all cal-
culated for their new situation. They do not do well.
They have but little or no calculation or energy, and, in
most cases, are no profit, but rather a burden and a curse
to the Republic.
This is the testimony of those who lived there, and had
a good opportunity lo know all about it. It is just such
a result as should have been expected from such colon-
ists. They are said, by those who have witnessed it, to
be lazy, will not work, proud, haughty, and oppressive
toward the natives and inferiors. This is also just what
might be looked for, from the influences which have
formed their characters from infancy to manhood. They
22 PLEAS FOR SLAVERY ANSWERED.
look with contempt upon the hard laborer, as their mas-
ters set them the example. Such men, raw from a planta-
tion, will never give the world any manifestations of the
''good" results of Slavery on the mind or life of man.
The effective ones in Liberia, as a general thing, are
those who have bad experience in Freedom; either
being free born, or having been free for some time, and
dependent on their ov/n exertions, and ingenuity, before
going to Africa. The free, independent companies of
colored people, from the North, are the ones vrho will
build up a Republic in Africa, if it is ever done.
But just so far as Slavery or Slaveholders have had to
do with Liberia, has the curse of God rested upon it.
Slavery never did, never will, never can, bring forth any
good thing, an)'' more than a salt fountain can send forth
Iresh water. The beginning, the progress, the nature,
the whole workings, and the end of Slavery, is, and must
be, "Evil, and only evil co?:tinually."
How much good Liberia has accomplished, or will
effect, I am not prepared to say, but this much i can say,
that just in proportion as people from Slavery, brought
up and trained under its influences, are sent there, just
in that ratio are the elements of corruption, and death
entailed on Africa, instead of a blessing. Instead of a
source of good, such will only prove a curse to this be-
nighted, long oppressed people.
Such will not break up the Slave trade, but rather
engage in it. They will not enlighten and save the hea-
then, but oppress, and crush them, as I am abundantly
informed, by those who have seen it, is the case, to a
lamentable extent. And just such things are to be ex'
pected from them.
Should Liberia, therefore, under God, accomplish any
o'ood for Africa, let not Slaverti claim the ciedit. It
does not belong to it. Blessings a thousand fold greater
\oould have resulted to Africa, but for the blighting in-
fluences of that unholy system.
If good, honest, industrious. Christian colored men and
women, who have been trained in Freedom ; Farmers,
Mechanics, Teachers, Ministers, etc.; wish to come to
Africa, to benefit themselves, or do Africa good, I hold
TLEAS FOil SLAVERY ANSWERED. 23
out both hands to them, and say '^ come, we need your
help." If they have not means to begin with, they had
better wait and get them. If they have means, let
them come. If benevolent friends will help them, let
them do it, and give God thanks.
But to compel men to come to Africa, by offering
them Africa or Slavery, is an outrage on God and human-
ity, and should be held in execration by every human
And whosoever advocates the cause of Liberia from a
desire to get clear of the colored man, from a feeling of
prejudice against him, a feeling of hatred, or contempt, of
** I don't like to have them about me," " It is not fit
the two races should be together," "They are inferior
to the white race, and only fit for servants," ** They
ought to be by themselves," ** I go in for emancipation,
if they shall all be sent to Liberia," etc., etc.; I say
whosoever advocates the cause of Liberia, from any
such, or similar feelings, they are the enemies of God
and man. They love not Africa, they love not the Slave
nor the colored race, they care not for their interests,
they have no benevolent feelings in all they say, or give,
or do ; but hatred of their brother, is the moving spring
of all their zeal.
I say they are the enemies of God, for **He that
loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he
love God, whom he hath not seen ?" Therefore let all
examine themselves, and be sure what feelings actuate
them in pleading for ** Colonization."
IX, If, therefore, Slavery has done no good to those in
Slavery, or to the Continent of Africa, hut only evil,
great evil ; and on the contrary, if all the good claimed
has resulted directly from Freedom, then " Immediate
Emancipation" should be the watch word of every one.
Those who claim the continuance of Slavery for its
good results to the colored race, if they are shown that
there is no good in the system, then should they, to be
consistent, at once join their heart, voice, and entire in-
fluence, with the true friends of the colored man, and of
24 PLEAS FOE, SLAVERY ANSWERED.
humanity, to hasten the happy day of immediate and
universal freedom for all men, since Freedom alone can
bless mankind. And no longer let men, professing rea-
son, show themselves devoid of "reason, by arguing for
what all true reason, and all enlightened reason utterly
discards, as contrary to, and against, all human reason.
There is beauty in consistency.
X. lam in Africa — for whose good I have labored in-
cessantly for six years. She has been greatly abused by
civilized nations. But God has promised that she shall
arise. No nation on earth is more deeply implicated in
the guilt of her degradation, and present state, than the
United States of America. None owe her a greater
debt. This debt can be paid, at this late day, only by
1. Setting her sons and daughters free, that they may
be free to labor for her redemption.
2. By educating them, that they may be fitted for this
3. When we have truly repented of our great wicked-
ness, and then bv laboring:*, to the extent of our ability,
to give ALL Africa the Gospel, which alone can heal
her wounds, dry up her tears, soothe her sorrows, and
lead her to God, and happiness.
To this end many should come to Africa ; all should
pray, give, and slir up others, to p*ay this debt. Now is
the time. Africa is calling "come over and help us,"
** come and help us ere we die ; 0, Christians to us fly,
in Africa." Christian reader, what will you do 1 Indi-
vidual obligation rests on each one. What you do, do
quickly. Your Brother,
American Keform Tract and Book Society,