Anti Slavery Documents

Anti Slavery Documents

When slave representation was admitted into the Constitution of the United States, a

wedge was introduced, which has ever since effectually sundered the sympathies and

interests of different portions of the country. By this step, the slave States acquired an

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undue advantage, which they have maintained with anxious jealousy, and in which the

free States have never perfectly acquiesced. The latter would probably never have made

the concession, so contrary to their principles, and the express provisions of their State

constitutions, if powerful motives had not been offered by the South. These consisted,

first, in taking upon themselves a proportion of direct taxes, increased in the same ratio

as their representation was increased by the concession to their slaves.

Second.—In conceding to the small States an entire equality in the Senate. This was not

indeed proposed as an item of the adjustment, but it operated as such; for the small

States, with the exception of Georgia, (which in fact expected to become one of the

largest,) lay in the North, and were either free, or likely soon to become so.

….

Wherever free labor and slave labor exist under the same government, there must be a

perpetual clashing of interests. The legislation required for one, is, in its spirit and

maxims, diametrically [Pg 108]opposed to that required for the other. Hence

Mr. Madison predicted, in the convention which formed our Federal Constitution, that

the contests would be between the great geographical sections; that such had been the

division, even during the war and the confederacy.

In the same convention, Charles Pinckney, a man of great sagacity, spoke of the equal

representation of large and small States as a matter of slight consequence; no

difficulties, he said, would ever arise on that point; the question would always be

between the slaveholding and non-slaveholding interests.

 

…. I reverence the wisdom of our early legislators; but they certainly did very wrong

to admit slavery as an element into a free constitution; and to sacrifice the known

and declared rights of a third and weaker party, in order to cement a union between two

stronger ones. Such an arrangement ought not, and could not, come to good. It has given

the slave States a controlling power which they will always keep, so long as we remain

together.

 

 

Anti Slavery Documents/(Declaration).pdf

 

AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY. 17

Again, I feel very reluctant to claim to be an Abolitionist, because

I think it to be a very high pretension for a man to make. I am

perfectly willing to bear the obloquy of the name ; but it looks like

pride, and may imply a want of self-knowledge, for a man to claim

with confidence that he is a genuine, thorough-going Garrisonian

Abolitionist. Under these circumstances, I esteem myself honored,

inasmuch as I have been invited to read to you the ” Declaration of

Sentiments” upon which this Society was founded; a Declaration

made in this city thirty years ago, and second only in time to the

Declaration of 1776.

DECLARATION OP SENTIMENTS.

The Convention assembled in the city of Philadelphia, to organize

a National Anti-Slavery Society, promptly seize the opportunity to

promulgate the following DECLARATION OP SENTIMENTS,

as cherished by them in relation to the enslavement of one sixth

portion of the American people.

More than fifty-seven years have elapsed since a band of patriots

convened in this place, to devise measures for the deliverance of this

country from a foreign yoke. The corner-stone upon which they

founded the TEMPLE OF FREEDOM was broadly this—”that all men

are created equal ; that they are endowed by their Creator with cer

tain inalienable rights ; that among these are life, LIBERTY, and

the pursuit of happiness.” At the sound of their trumpet-call, three

millions of people rose up as from the sleep of death, and rushed to the

strife of blood ; deeming it more glorious to die instantly as free

men, than desirable to live one hour as slaves. They were few in

number—poor in resources; but the honest conviction that THDTH,

JUSTICE and RIGHT were on their side made them invincible.

We have met together for the achievement of an enterprise, with

out which that of our fathers is incomplete ; and which, for its mag

nitude, solemnity, and probable results upon the destiny of the world,

as far transcends theirs as moral truth does physical force.

In purity of motive, in earnestness of zeal, in decision of purpose,

in intrepidity of action, in steadfastness of faith, in sincerity of spirit,

we would not be inferior to them.

Their principles led them to wage war against their oppressors,

and to spill human blood like water in order to be free. Ours forbid

the doing of evil that good may come, and lead us to reject, and to

entreat the oppressed to reject, the use of all carnal weapons for de

liverance from bondage ; relying solely upon those which are spirit

ual, and mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.

Their measures were physical resistance — the marshalling in

arms — the hostile array— the mortal encounter. Ours shall be

such only as the opposition of moral purity to moral corruption—

3

 

 

18 THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE

the destruction of error by tho potency of truth — the overthrow of

prejudice by the power of love—and the abolition of Slavery by the

spirit of repentance.

Their grievances, great as they were, were trifling in comparison

with the wrongs and sufferings of those for whom we plead. Our

fathers were never slaves—never bought and sold like cattle—never

shut out from the light of knowledge and religion—never subjected

to the lash of brutal taskmasters. •

But those for whose emancipation we are striving—constituting,

at the present time, at least one sixth part of our countrymen—are

recognized by the law, and treated by their fellow-beings, as market

able commodities, as goods and chattels, as brute beasts; are plun

dered daily of the fruits of their toil without redress ; really enjoy

no constitutional nor legal protection from licentious and murderous

outrages upon their persons ; are ruthlessly torn asunder— the tender

babe from the arms of its frantic mother—the heart-broken wife from

her weeping husband—at the caprice or pleasure of irresponsible

tyrants. For the crime of having a dark complexion, they suffer the

pangs of hunger, the infliction of stripes, and the ignominy of brutal

servitude. They are kept in heathenish darkness by laws expressly

enacted to make their instruction a criminal offence.

These are the prominent circumstances in the condition of more

than two millions of our people, the proof of which may be found

in thousands of indisputable facts, and in the laws of the slavehold-

ing States.

Hence we maintain—that in view of the civil and religious privi

leges of this nation, the guilt of its oppression is unequalled by any

other on the face of the earth ; and, therefore,

That it is bound to repent instantly, to undo the heavy burden, to

break every yoke, and to let the oppressed go free.

We further maintain—that no man has a right to enslave or im-

brute his brother—to hold or acknowledge him, for one moment, as

a piece of merchandize—to keep back his hire by fraud—or to bru

talize his mind by denying him the means of intellectual, social and

moral improvement.

The right to enjoy liberty is inalienable. To invade it is to usurp

the prerogative of Jehovah. Every man has a right to his own

body—to the products of his own labor—to the protection of law—

and to the common advantages of society. It is piracy to buy or

steal a native African, and subject him to servitude. Surely the sin

is as great to enslave an AMERICAN as an AFRICAN.

Therefore we believe and affirm—That there is no difference, in

principle, between the African slave trade and American Slavery :

That every American citizen, who retains a human being in invol

untary bondage as his property, is, according to Scripture, (Ex. 21 :

16,) a MAN-STEALER !

That the slaves ought instantly to be set free, and brought under

the protection of the law :

 

 

AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY. 19

That if they had lived from the time of Pharaoh down to the

present period, and had been entailed through successive generations,

their right to be free could never have been alienated, but their

claims would have constantly risen in solemnity : =

That all those laws which are now in force, admitting the right of I

Slavery, are therefore, before God, utterly null and void ; being an }

audacious usurpation of the Divine prerogative, a daring infringement

on the i^w jj’ nature, a base overthrow of the very foundations of ir >

the socjal^aispact, a complete extinction of all the relations, endear- *•*> /-

ments, and obligations of mankind, and a presumptuous transgression

of all the holy commandments—and that, therefore, they ought in

stantly to be abrogated.

We further believe and affirm— that all persons of color who

possess the qualifications which are demanded of others, ought to be

admitted forthwith to the enjoyment of the same privileges, and the

exercise of the same prerogatives, as others ; and that the paths of

preferment, of wealth, and of intelligence, should be opened as

widely to them as to persons of a white complexion.

We maintain that no compensation should be given to the planters

emancipating their slaves ;

Because it would be a surrender of the great fundamental princi

ple, that man cannot hold property in man ;

Because SLAVERY is A CRIME, AND THEREFORE is NOT AN ARTICLE

TO BE SOLD;

Because the holders of slaves are not the just proprietors of what

they claim ; freeing the slaves is not depriving them of property, but

restoring it to its rightful owners ; it is not wronging the master, but

righting the slave— restoring him to himself;

Because immediate and general emancipation would only destroy

nominal, not real property ; it would not amputate a limb, or break

a bone of the slaves, but, by infusing motives into their breasts, would

make them doubly valuable to the masters as free laborers ; and

Because, if compensation is to be given at all, it should be given

to the outraged and guiltless slaves, and not to those who have plun

dered and abused them.

We regard as delusive, cruel and dangerous, any scheme of expa

triation which pretends to aid, either directly or indirectly, in the

emancipation of the slaves, or to be a substitute for the immediate

and total abolition of Slavery.

We fully and unanimously recognize the sovereignty of each State

to legislate exclusively on the subject of the Slavery which is tole- j

rated within its limits ; we concede that Congress, under the pzesent “”i

natiojial_ compact, has no right to interfere with any of the Slave

States, in relation to this momentous subject :

But we maintain that Congress has a right, and is solemnly bound,

to suppress the domestic slave trade between the several States, and

to abolish Slavery in those portions of our territory which the Con

stitution has placed under its exclusive jurisdiction. ^

 

 

20 THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE

We also maintain that there are, at the present time, the highest

obligations resting upon the people of the Free States to remove

Slavery by moral and political action, as prescribed in the Constitu

tion of the United States. They are now living under a pledge of

their tremendous physical force to fasten the galling fetters of

tyranny upon the limbs of millions in the Southern States; they are

liable to be called at any moment to suppress a general insurrection

of the slaves ; they authorize the slave-owner to vote on three fifths

of his slaves as property, and thus enable him to perpetuate his op

pression ; they support a standing army at the South for its protec

tion ; and they seize the slave who has escaped into their territories,

and send him back to be tortured by an enraged master or a brutal

driver. This relation to Slavery is criminal, and full of danger : IT

MUST BE BROKEN UP.

These are our views and principles—these our designs and meas

ures. With entire confidence in the overruling justice of God, we

plant ourselves upon the Declaration of Independence and the

truths of divine revelation as upon the Everlasting Hock.

We shall organize Anti-Slavery Societies, if possible, in every

city, town and village in our land.

We shall send forth agents to lift up the voice of remonstrance, of

warning, of entreaty and rebuke.

We shall circulate, unsparingly and extensively, Anti-Slavery

tracts and periodicals.

We shall enlist the pulpit and the press in the cause of the suffer

ing and the dumb.

We shall aim at a purification of the churches from all participa

tion in the guilt of Slavery.

We shall encourage the labor of freemen rather than that of

slaves, by giving a preference to their productions : and

We shall spare no exertions nor means to bring the whole nation

to speedy repentance.

Our trust for victory is solely in God. We may be personally

defeated, but our principles never. TRUTH, JUSTICE, REASON, HU

MANITY, must and will gloriously triumph. Already a host is coming

up to the help of the Lord against the mighty, and the prospect

before us is full of encouragement.

Submitting this DECLARATION to the candid examination of

the people of this country, and of the friends of Liberty throughout

the world, we hereby affix our signatures to it ; pledging ourselves

that, under the guidance and by the help of Almighty God, we will

do all that in us lies, consistently with this Declaration of our prin

ciples, to overthrow the most execrable system of Slavery that has

ever been witnessed upon earth—to deliver our land from its dead

liest curse— to wipe out the foulest stain which rests upon our

national escutcheon—and to secure to the colored population of the

United States all the rights and privileges which belong to them as

men and as Americans—come what may to our persons, our inter

 

 

AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVEKY SOCIETY. 21

ests, or our reputation—whether we live to witness the triumph of

LIBERTY, JUSTICE and HUHAHITY, or perish untimely as martyrs in

this great, benevolent and holy cause.

Done at Philadelphia, the 6th day of December, A. D. 1833.

I am informed that of the sixty persons and upwards, who appended

their names to this Declaration, only fifteen have died, when the an

ticipation here expressed has been realized. The large body of the

signers ” lire to witness the triumph of liberty, justice and humanity.”

You all know what have been the weapons of our friends in the

great war in which they have been engaged. If our country had

responded to these sentiments thirty years ago, as they responded to

the tidings of the attack upon Fort Sumter, slavery would have been

utterly abolished by this time, without the shedding of a single drop

of blood. But there is a homely proverb, that it is in vain to talk

about what might have been, or what should have been. Blood is

running like water, and the consolation and reward of our friends is,

that when the South broke out in brutal assault upon the life of the

nation, that the nation was so well prepared for the hour was due in

great part to the fidelity with which they have redeemed the pledges

they gave in this Declaration, in forming Anti-Slavery Societies

throughout all the North, and in sending every where anti-slavery

information.

I confess there are very strong points of resemblance between the

Abolitionists of the North and the conspirators of the South. Our

friends at the North, thirty years ago, undertook to fire the Northern

heart, insensible to the fact that they were in danger of firing the

Southern heart at the same time. So, also, a few years ago, the ‘

leading conspirators at the South undertook to fire the Southern

heart, never dreaming what a tremendous fire they were going to

kindle in the Northern heart. So that, in this respect, the Aboli

tionists of the North and the Fire-eaters of the South resembled

each other; with this difference —that the Abolitionists undertook to

kindle the Northern heart with fire from heaven ; the Fire-eaters

undertook to kindle the Southern heart with fire from—the other

place. (Applause.)

SPEECH OF WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON.

On the Fourth of July, 1776, our fathers put their names to the

Declaration of American Independence. They testified before the

 

Anti Slavery Documents/(Free Soil).pdf

 

1848 Free Soil Party Platform

From http://www.angelfire.com/indie/ourcampaigns/1848.html

We have assembled in convention as a union of free men, for the sake of freedom, forgetting all

past political differences, in a common resolve to maintain the rights of free labor against the

aggression of the slave power, and to secure free soil to a free people; and

Whereas, The political conventions recently assembled at Baltimore and Philadelphia-the one

stifling the voice of a great constituency entitled to be heard in its deliberations, and the other

abandoning its distinctive principles for mere availability-have dissolved the national party

organization heretofore existing, by nominating for the chief magistracy of the United States,

under the slaveholding dictation, candidates neither of whom can be supported by the opponents

of slavery extension without a sacrifice of consistency, duty and self-respect; and

Whereas, These nominations so made furnish the occasion and demonstrate the necessity of the

union of the people under the banner of free democracy, in a solely and foriral declaration of

their independence of the siave power, and of their fixed determination to rescue the federal

government from its control,–

1. Resolved, Therefore, that we, the people here assembled, remembering the example of our

fathers in the days of the first Declaration of Independence, putting our trust in God for the

triumph of our cause, and invociing his guidance in our endeavors to advance it, do now plant

ourselves upon the national platform of freedom, in opposition to the sectional platform of

slavery.

2. Resolved, That slavery in the several states of this Union which recognize its existence

depends upon the state law.-, alone, which cannot be repealed or modified by the federal

government, and for which laws that government is not responsible. We therefore propose no

interference by Congress with slavery within the limits of any state.

3. Resolved, That the proviso of Jefferson, to prohibit the existence of slavery after 18OO in all

the territories of the United States, southern and northern; the votes of six states and sixteen

delegates in the Congresss of 1784 for the proviso, to three states and seven delegates against it;

the actual exclusion of slavery from the Northwestern Territory, by the Ordinance of 1787,

unanimously adopted by the states in Congress, and the entire history of that period,–clearly

show that it was the settled policy of the nation not to extend, nationalize, or encourage, but to

limit, localize, and discourage slavery; and to this policy, which should never have beef departed

from, the government ought to return.

4. Resolved, That our fathers ordained the Constitution of the United States in order, among

other great national objects, to establish justice, promote the general welfare, secure the blessings

of liberty; but expressly denied to the federal government, which they created, a constitutional

power to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due legal process.

 

 

 

5. Resolved, That in the judg[m]ent of this convention Congress has no more power to make a

slave than to make a king; no more power to institute or establish slavery than to institute or

establish a monarchy. No such power can be found among those specifically conferred by the

Constitution, or derived by just implication from them.

6. Resolved, That it is the duty of the federal government to relieve itself from all responsibility

for the existence or continuance of slavery wherever the government possesses constitutional

power to legislate on that subject, and is thus responsible for its existence.

7. Resolved, That the true and, in the judgment of this convention, the only safe means of

preventing the extension of slavery into territory now free is to prohibit its extension in all such

territory by an act of Congress.

8. Resolved, That we accept the issue which the slave power has forced upon us; and to their

demand for more slave states and more slave territory, our calm but final answer is: No more

slave states and no more slave territory. Lei the soil of our extensive domain be kept free for the

hardy pioneers of our own land and the oppressed and banished of other lands seeking homes of

comfort and fle[i]lds of enterprise in the ne[w] world.

9. Resolved, That the bill lately reported by the committee of eight in the Senate of the United

Slates was no compromise, but an absolute surrender of the rights of the non-slav[e] holders of

the states; and while we rejoice to know that a measure which, while opening the door for the

introduction of slavery into the territories now free, would also have opened the door to litigation

and strife among the future inhabitants thereof, to the ruin of their peace and prosperity, was

defeated in the House of Representatives, its passage in hot haste by a majority, embracing

several Senators who voted in open violation of the known will of their constituents, should warn

the people to see to it that their representatives be not suffered to betray them. There must be no

more compromises with slavery; if made, they must be repealed.

10. Resolved, That we demand freedom and established institutioi[n]s for our brethren in Oregon

now exposed to hardships, peril, and massacre, by the reckless hostility of the slave power to the

establishment of free government for free territories; and not only for them, but for our brethren

in California and New Mexico.

11. Resolved, It is due not only to this occasion, but to the whole people of the United States,

that we should also declare ourselves on certain other questions of national policy; therefore,

12. Resolved, That we demand cheap postage for the people; a retrenchment of the expenses and

patronage of the federal government; the abolition of all unnecessary offices and salaries; and the

election by the people of all civil officers in the service of the government so far as the same may

be practicable.

13. Resolved, That river and harbor improvements, when demanded by the safety and

convenience of commerce with foreign nations, or among the several states, are objects of

national concern, and that it is the duty of Congress, in the exercise of its constitutional power, to

provide therefor.

 

 

14. Resolved, That the free grant to actual settlers, in consideration of the expenses they incur in

making settlements in the wilderness, which are usually fully equal to their actual cost, and of the

public benefits resulting therefrom, of reasonable portions of the public lands under suitable

limitations, Is a wise and just measure of public policy, which will promote, in various ways, the

interest of all the states of this Union; and we therefore recommend it to the favorable

consideration of the American people.

15. Resolved, That the obligations of honor and patriotism require the earliest practical payment

of the national debt, and we are therefore in favor of such a tariff of duties as will raise revenue

adequate to defray the expenses of the federal government, and to pay annual instalments of our

debt, and the interest thereon.

16. Resolved, That we inscribe on our banner, ” Free Soil Free Speech, Free Labor, and Free

Men,” and under it we will fight on, and fight forever, until a triumphant victory shall reward our

exertions.

 

Anti Slavery Documents/(Garrison).pdf

 

An excerpt from The Great Crisis!, The Liberator Vol. II., No. 52 (December 29, 1832).

FROM http://fair-use.org/the-liberator/1832/12/29/on-the-constitution-and-the-union

 

There is much declamation about the sacredness of the compact which was formed between the

free and slave states, on the adoption of the Constitution. A sacred compact, forsooth! We

pronounce it the most bloody and heaven-daring arrangement ever made by men for the

continuance and protection of a system of the most atrocious villany ever exhibited on earth.

Yes—we recognize the compact, but with feelings of shame and indignation, and it will be held

in everlasting infamy by the friends of justice and humanity throughout the world. It was a

compact formed at the sacrifice of the bodies and souls of millions of our race, for the sake of

achieving a political object—an unblushing and monstrous coalition to do evil that good might

come. Such a compact was, in the nature of things and according to the law of God, null and void

from the beginning. No body of men ever had the right to guarantee the holding of human beings

in bondage. Who or what were the framers of our government, that they should dare confirm and

authorise such high-handed villany—such flagrant robbery of the inalienable rights of man—

such a glaring violation of all the precepts and injunctions of the gospel—such a savage war

upon a sixth part of our whole population?—They were men, like ourselves—as fallible, as

sinful, as weak, as ourselves. By the infamous bargain which they made between themselves,

they virtually dethroned the Most High God, and trampled beneath their feet their own solemn

and heaven-attested Declaration, that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator

with certain inalienable rights—among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They

had no lawful power to bind themselves, or their posterity, for one hour—for one moment—by

such an unholy alliance. It was not valid then—it is not valid now. Still they persisted in

maintaining it—and still do their successors, the people of Massachusetts, of New-England, and

of the twelve free States, persist in maintaining it. A sacred compact! A sacred compact! What,

then, is wicked and ignominious?

 

This, then, is the relation in which we of New-England stand to the holders of slaves at the south,

and this is virtually our language toward them—Go on, most worthy associates, from day to day,

from month to month, from year to year, from generation to generation, plundering two millions

of human beings of their liberty and the fruits of their toil—driving them into the fields like

cattle—starving and lacerating their bodies—selling the husband from his wife, the wife from

her husband, and children from their parents—spilling their blood—withholding the bible from

their hands and all knowledge from their minds—and kidnapping annually sixty thousand

infants, the offspring of pollution and shame! Go on, in these practices—we do not wish nor

mean to interfere, for the rescue of your victims, even by expostulation or warning—we like

your company too well to offend you by denouncing your conduct—although we know that by

every principle of law which does not utterly disgrace us by assimilating us to pirates, that they

have as good and true a right to the equal protection of the law as we have; and although we

ourselves stand prepared to die, rather than submit even to a fragment of the intolerable load of

 

 

oppression to which we are subjecting them—yet, never mind—let that be—they have grown old

in suffering and we iniquity—and we have nothing to do now but to speak peace, peace, to one

another in our sins. We are too wicked ever to love them as God commands us to do—we are so

resolute in our wickedness as not even to desire to do so—and we are so proud in our iniquity

that we will hate and revile whoever disturbs us in it. We want, like the devils of old, to be let

alone in our sin. We are unalterably determined, and neither God nor man shall move us from

this resolution, that our colored fellow subjects never shall be free or happy in their native land.

Go on, from bad to worse—add link to link to the chains upon the bodies of your victims—add

constantly to the intolerable burdens under which they groan—and if, goaded to desperation by

your cruelties; they should rise to assert their rights and redress their wrongs, fear nothing—we

are pledged, by a sacred compact, to shoot them like dogs and rescue you from their vengeance!

Go on—we never will forsake you, for their is honor among thieves—our swords are ready to

leap from their scabbards, and our muskets to pour forth deadly vollies, as soon as you are in

danger. We pledge you our physical strength, by the sacredness of the national compact—a

compact by which we have enabled you already to plunder, persecute, and destroy two millions

of slaves, who now lie beneath the sod; and by which we now give you the same piratical license

to prey upon a much larger number of victims and all their posterity. Go on—and by this sacred

instrument, the Constitution of the United States, dripping as it is with human blood, we

solemnly pledge you our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor, that we will stand by you to

the last.

 

People of New-England, and of the free States! is it true that slavery is no concern of yours?

Have you no right even to protest against it, or to seek its removal? Are you not the main pillars

of its support? How long do you mean to be answerable to God and the world, for spilling the

blood of the poor innocents? Be not afraid to look the monster Slavery boldly in the face. He is

your implacable foe—the vampyre who is sucking your life-blood—the ravager of a large

portion of your country, and the enemy of God and man. Never hope to be a uited, or happy, or

prosperous people while he exists. He has an appetite like the grave—a spirit as malignant as that

of the bottomless pit—and an influence as dreadful a the corruption of death. Awake to your

danger! the struggle is a mighty one—it cannot be avoided—it shoul not be, if it could. (¶ 3)

 

It is said that if you agitate this question, you will divide the Union. elieve it not; but should

disunion follow, the fault will not be yours. You must perform your duty, faithfully, fearlessly

and promptly, and leave the consequences to God: that duty clearly is, to cease from giving

countenance and protection to southern kidnappers. Let them separate, if they can muster

courage enough—and the liberation of their slaves is certain. Be assured that slavery will very

speedily destroy this Union, if it be left alone; but even if the Union can be preserved by treading

upon the necks, spilling the blood, and destroying the souls of millions of your race, we say it is

not worth a price like this, and that it is in the highest degree criminal for you to continue the

present compact. Let the pillars thereof fall—let the superstructure crumble into dust—if it must

be upheld by robbery and oppression.

 

Anti Slavery Documents/(Lincoln)(2).pdf

 

 

Lincoln’s Peoria Speech, October 16, 1854

EXTRACTED FROM: https://www.nps.gov/liho/learn/historyculture/peoriaspeech.htm

[Lincoln provides a historical overview of the nation’s territorial policy, with regards to slavery, in a critique against

Douglas and his Kansas-Nebraska Act]

In order to [get?] a clear understanding of what the Missouri Compromise [Compromise of 1820] is, a

short history of the preceding kindred subjects will perhaps be proper. When we established our

independence, we did not own, or claim, the country to which this compromise applies. Indeed, strictly

speaking, the confederacy [under the Articles of Confederation] then [1781-89] owned no country at all;

the States respectively owned the country within their limits; and some of them owned territory beyond

their strict State limits. Virginia thus owned the North-Western territory—the country out of which the

principal part of Ohio, all Indiana, all Illinois, all Michigan and all Wisconsin, have since been formed.

She also owned (perhaps within her then limits) what has since been formed into the State of Kentucky.

North Carolina thus owned what is now the State of Tennessee; and South Carolina and Georgia, in

separate parts, owned what are now Mississippi and Alabama. Connecticut, I think, owned the little

remaining part of Ohio—being the same where they now send Giddings to Congress, and beat all creation

at making cheese. These territories, together with the States themselves, constituted all the country over

which the confederacy [the U.S. Government under the Articles of Confederation] then claimed any sort

of jurisdiction. We were then living under the Articles of Confederation [1781-1789], which were

superceded by the Constitution several years afterwards [1789]. The question of ceding these territories to

the general government was set on foot. Mr. Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, and

otherwise a chief actor in the revolution; then a delegate in Congress; afterwards twice President; who

was, is, and perhaps will continue to be, the most distinguished politician of our history; a Virginian by

birth and continued residence, and withal, a slave-holder; conceived the idea of taking that occasion, to

prevent slavery ever going into the north-western territory [Northwest Ordinance 1787]. He prevailed on

the Virginia Legislature to adopt his views, and to cede the territory, making the prohibition of slavery

therein, a condition of the deed. Congress accepted the cession, with the condition; and in the first

Ordinance (which the acts of Congress were then called) for the government of the territory, provided that

slavery should never be permitted therein. This is the famed ordinance of ’87 so often spoken of.

Thenceforward, for sixty-one years, and until in 1848 , the last scrap of this territory came into the Union

as the State of Wisconsin, all parties acted in quiet obedience to this ordinance. It is now what Jefferson

foresaw and intended—the happy home of teeming millions of free, white, prosperous people, and no

slave amongst them.

Thus, with the author of the Declaration of Independence, the policy of prohibiting slavery in new

territory originated. Thus, away back of the constitution, in the pure fresh, free breath of the revolution

[the American Revolution], the State of Virginia, and the National congress put that policy in practice.

Thus through sixty odd of the best years of the republic did that policy steadily work to its great and

beneficent end. And thus, in those five states, and five millions of free, enterprising people, we have

before us the rich fruits of this policy.

But now new light breaks upon us. Now congress declares this ought never to have been; and the like of

it, must never be again. The sacred right of self government is grossly violated by it! We even find some

men, who drew their first breath, and every other breath of their lives, under this very restriction, now live

in dread of absolute suffocation, if they should be restricted in the “sacred right” of taking slaves to

Nebraska. That perfect liberty they sigh for—the liberty of making slaves of other people—Jefferson

 

 

never thought of; their own father never thought of; they never thought of themselves, a year ago. How

fortunate for them, they did not sooner become sensible of their great misery! Oh, how difficult it is to

treat with respect, such assaults upon all we have ever really held sacred.

 

But to return to history. In 1803 we purchased what was then called Louisiana, of France. It included the

now states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa; also the territory of Minnesota, and the present

bone of contention, Kansas and Nebraska. Slavery already existed among the French at New Orleans;

and, to some extent, at St. Louis. In 1812 Louisiana came into the Union as a slave state, without

controversy. In 1818 or ’19, Missouri showed signs of a wish to come in with slavery. This was resisted

by northern members of Congress; and thus began the first great slavery agitation in the nation. This

controversy lasted several months, and became very angry and exciting; the House of Representatives

voting steadily for the prohibition of slavery in Missouri, and the Senate voting as steadily against it.

Threats of breaking up the Union were freely made; and the ablest public men of the day became

seriously alarmed. At length a compromise was made, in which, like all compromises, both sides yielded

something. It was a law passed on the 6th day of March, 1820, providing that Missouri might come into

the Union with slavery, but that in all the remaining part of the territory purchased of France, which lies

north of 36 degrees and 30 minutes north latitude, slavery should never be permitted. This provision of

law, is the Missouri Compromise. In excluding slavery North of the line, the same language is employed

as in the Ordinance of ’87. It directly applied to Iowa, Minnesota, and to the present bone of contention,

Kansas and Nebraska. Whether there should or should not, be slavery south of that line, nothing was said

in the law; but Arkansas constituted the principal remaining part, south of the line; and it has since been

admitted as a slave state without serious controversy. More recently, Iowa, north of the line, came in as a

free state without controversy. Still later, Minnesota, north of the line, had a territorial organization

without controversy. Texas principally south of the line, and West of Arkansas; though originally within

the purchase from France, had, in 1819, been traded off to Spain, in our treaty for the acquisition of

Florida. It had thus become a part of Mexico. Mexico revolutionized and became independent of Spain.

American citizens began settling rapidly, with their slaves in the southern part of Texas. Soon they

revolutionized against Mexico, and established an independent government of their own, adopting a

constitution, with slavery, strongly resembling the constitutions of our slave states. By still another rapid

move, Texas, claiming a boundary much further West, than when we parted with her in 1819, was

brought back to the United States, and admitted into the Union as a slave state. There then was little or no

settlement in the northern part of Texas, a considerable portion of which lay north of the Missouri line;

and in the resolutions admitting her into the Union, the Missouri restriction was expressly extended

westward across her territory. This was in 1845, only nine years ago.

Thus originated the Missouri Compromise; and thus has it been respected down to 1845. And even four

years later, in 1849, our distinguished Senator [Douglas], in a public address, held the following language

in relation to it:

“The Missouri Compromise had been in practical operation for about a quarter of a century, and had

received the sanction and approbation of men of all parties in every section of the Union. It had allayed all

sectional jealousies and irritations growing out of this vexed question, and harmonized and tranquilized

the whole country. It had given to Henry Clay, as its prominent champion, the proud sobriquet of the

‘Great Pacificator’ and by that title and for that service, his political friends had repeatedly appealed to the

people to rally under his standard, as a presidential candidate, as the man who had exhibited the

patriotism and the power to suppress, an unholy and treasonable agitation, and preserve the Union. He

was not aware that any man or any party from any section of the Union, had ever urged as an objection to

 

 

Mr. Clay, that he was the great champion of the Missouri Compromise. On the contrary, the effort was

made by the opponents of Mr. Clay, to prove that he was not entitled to the exclusive merit of that great

patriotic measure, and that the honor was equally due to others as well as to him, for securing its

adoption—that it had its origin in the hearts of all patriotic men, who desired to preserve and perpetuate

the blessings of our glorious Union—an origin akin that of the constitution of the United States,

conceived in the same spirit of fraternal affection, and calculated to remove forever, the only danger,

which seemed to threaten, at some distant day, to sever the social bond of union. All the evidences of

public opinion at that day, seemed to indicate that this Compromise had been canonized in the hearts of

the American people, as a sacred thing which no ruthless hand would ever be reckless enough to disturb.”

 

 

Anti Slavery Documents/(Truth).pdf

 

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): Ain’t I A Woman?

Delivered 1851

Women’s Convention, Akron, Ohio

 

EXTRACTED FROM http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/sojtruth-woman.asp

 

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that

‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white

men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches,

and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-

puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have

ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman?

I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well!

And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and

when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience

whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’

rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let

me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause

Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from?

From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone,

these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now

they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.

 

Anti Slavery Documents/Anti Slavery Documents.txt

ANTI-SLAVERY DOCUMENTS ?“Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Convention [1833]” in Proceedings of the American Anti-Slavery Society at the Third Decade. New York: American Anti-slavery Society, 1864. ?“1848 Free Soil Party Platform.” Web. Child, [Lydia Maria]. An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans. New York: John S. Taylor. 1836. Garrison, William Lloyd. “An Excerpt from The Great Crisis!”, The Liberator. Vol. II., No. 52. December 29, 1832. Web. Fair Use Repository. Lincoln, Abraham. “Peoria Speech,” Peoria, Ill. October 16, 1854. Web. National Park Service Truth, Sojourner. “Ain’t I a Woman?” December 1851. Web. Fordham University, Modern History Sourcebook.

Pro Slavery Documents/(Christy 44).pdf

 

44 COTTON IS KING; on,

which are political, may be added others, which are physical and

moral” *

Now it is evident, from this language, that Mr. Jefferson was

not only opposed to allowing the negroes the rights of citizenship,

but that he was opposed to emancipation also, except on the con

dition that the freedmen should be removed from the country.

He could, therefore, have meant nothing more by the phrase, “ all

men are created equal,” which he employed in the Declaration of

Independence, than the announcement of a general principle,

which, in its application to the colonists, was intended most em

phatically to assert their equality, before God and the world, with

the imperious Englishmen who claimed the divineright of lord

ing it over them. This was undoubtedly the view held by Mr.

Jefi’erson, and the extent to which he expected the language of the

Declaration to be applied’; Nor could the signers of that instru

ment, or the people whom they represented, ever have intended

to apply its principles to any barbarous or semi-barbarous people,

in the sense of admitting them to an equality with themselves in

the management of a free government. -Had this been their de

sign, they must have enfranchised both Indians and Africans, as

both were within the territory over which they exercised juris

diction.

But testimony of a conclusive character is at hand, to show

 

” Randall’s Life of Jefferson, vol. i. page 370, Note.

1- That Mr. Jeiferson was considered as having no settled plans or views in

relation to the disposal of the blacks, and that he was disinclined to risk the

disturbance of the harmony of the country for the sake of the negro, appears

evident from the opinions entertained of him and his schemes by John Quincy

Adams. After speaking of the zeal of Mr. Jefferson, and the strong manner in

which, at times, he had spoken gainst slavery, Mr. Adams says : “But Jef

ferson had not the spirit of martyrdom. He would have introduced a flaming

denunciation of slavery into the Declaration of Independence, but the discre

tion of his colleagues struck it out. He did insert a most eloquent and impas

sioned argument against it in his Notes on Virginia; but, on that very account,

the book was published almost against his will. He projected a plan of general

emancipation, in his revision of the Virginia laws, but finally presented a plan

leaving slavery precisely where it was; and, in his Memoir, he leaves a posthu

mous warning to the planters that they must, at no distant day, emancipate

their slaves, or that worse will follow; but he withheld the publication of his

prophecy till he should himself be in the grave.”-Lt_’fe of J. Q. Adams, page

177, 178.

 

Pro Slavery Documents/(Christy 55-6).pdf

 

ECONOMICAL RELATIONS OF SLAVERY. 55

CHAPTER V.

THE RELATIONS OF AMERICAN SLAVERY TO THE INDUSTRIAL INTER

ESTS OF OUR COUNTRY; TO THE DEMANDS OF COMMERCE; AND TO THE

PRESENT POLITICAL CRISIS.

Present condition of Slavery—Not an isolated system—-Its relations to other in

dustrial interests-—To manufactures, commerce, trade, human comfort—ItI

benevolent aspect—The reverse picture—Immense value of tropical posses

sions to Great Britain——England’s attempted monopoly of Manufactures-—

Her dependence on American Planters—-Cotton Planters attempt to mo

nopolize Cotton markets—Fu.9ion of these parties—Free Trade essential to

their success-—Influence on agriculture, mechanics—Exports of Cotton, To

bacco, etc.—Inc1-eased production of Provisions-—Their extent—New markets

needed.

Tun institution of slavery, at this moment, gives indications of

a vitality that was never anticipated by its friends or foes. Its

enemies oflzen supposed it about ready to expire, from the wounds

they had inflicted, when in truth it had taken two steps in ad

vance, while they had taken twice the number in an opposite

direction. In each successive conflict, its assailants have been

weakened, while its dominion has been extended.

This has arisen from causes too generally overlooked. Slavery ___7

is not an isolated system, but is so mingledrwith the business of mofld§’fh’sTit?’wa1’1ves’Tacilitiesfii‘roin the most innocent transac

Vdmapital and labor, in Europe and America, are largely

employed in the manufactureof: cotton. These goods, to a great

extent, may be seen fi-eighting every vessel, from Christian nations,

that traverses the seas of the globe, and filling the warehouses

and shelves of the merchants over two-thirds of the world. _By \_

the industry, skill, and enterprise employed in the manufacture 5?”

cotton, mankind_:_!-_1’_e__‘t)<_att__e_>;1″_g1’o_tVI’1ed; their comfort better promoted ; gelfeai-§l‘i’r1d11_s‘l§’fly more highly stimulated; commerce more widely

extended; and civilization more rapidly advanced than in any

preceding age. -‘

To the superficial observer, all the agencies, based upon the sale

and manufacture of cotton, seem to be legitimately engagedwin

promoting human happiness; and he, doubtless, T5e1’s‘i‘f1’§é’ invok

\ re,

 

/

 

 

66 COTTON IS KING; OR,

ing Heaven’s choicest blessings upon them. When he sees the

stockholders in the cotton corporations receiving their dividends,

the operatives their wages, the merchants their profits, and civil

ized people everywhere clothed comfortably in cottons, he can not

refrain from exclaiming: The lines have fallen unto them in

pleasant places; yea, they have a goodlylieritagel

But turn a moment to the source whence the raw cotton, the

basis of these operations, is obtained, and observe the aspect of

things in that direction. When the statistics on the subject are

examined, it appears that nine-tenths of the cotton consumed in

the Christian world is the product of the slave labor of the United

States.‘ It is this monopoly that has given to slavery its commer

cial value; and, while this monopoly is retained, the institution

will continue to extend itself wherever it can find room to spread.

He who looks for any other result, ‘.must expect that nations,

which, for centuries, have waged war to extend their commerce,

will now abandon that means of aggrandizcment, and bankrupt

themselves to force the abolition of American slavery!

This is not all. The economical value of slavery, as an agency

for supplying the means of extending manufactures and com

merce, has long been understood by statesmensf The discovery

* See Appendix, Table I.

f It may be well here to illustrate this point, by an extract from McQueen, of

England, in 1844, when this highly intelligent gentleman was urgng upon his

government the great necessity which existed for securing to itself, as speedily

as possible, the control of the labor and the products of tropical Africa. In ref

erence to the benefits which had been‘ derived from her West India colonies,

before the suppression of the slave trade and the emancipation of the slaves

had rendered them comparatively unproductive, he said : “ During the fearful

struggle of a quarter of a century, for her existence as a nation, against the

power and resources of Europe, directed by the most intelligent but remorselcss

military ambit-ion against her, the command of the productions of the torrid zone,

and the advantageous commerce which that afforded, gave to Great Britain the

power and the resources which enabled her to meet, to combat, and to over

come, her numerous and reckless enemies in every battle-field, whether by sea

or land, throughout the world. In her the world saw realized the fabled giant

of antiquity. With her hundred hands she grasped her foes in every region

under heaven, and crushed them with resistless energy.”

In further presenting the considerations which he considered necessary to 80

cure the adoption of the policy he was urging, Mr. McQueen referred to the

difiiculties which were then surrounding Great Britain, and the extent to which

rival nations had surpassed her in tropical cultivation. He continued : “ The

O

 

Pro Slavery Documents/(Fitzhugh, “Sociology” 176-180).pdf

 

Fitzhugh, George. Sociology for the South: or, The Failure of Free Society. UNC Electronic Edition: 1998

[1854]. Web. < http://docsouth.unc.edu/southlit/fitzhughsoc/fitzhugh.html>.

CHAPTER XIX.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND VIRGINIA BILL OF RIGHTS.

 

An essay on the subject of slavery would be very imperfect, if it passed over without noticing these

instruments. The abstract principles which they enunciate, we candidly admit, are wholly at war with

slavery; we shall attempt to show that they are equally at war with all government, all subordination, all

order. Men’s minds were heated and blinded when they were written, as well by patriotic zeal, as by a

false philosophy, which, beginning with Locke, in a refined materialism, had ripened on the Continent

into open infidelity. In England, the doctrine of prescriptive government, the divine right of kings, had

met with signal overthrow, and in France there was faith in nothing, speculation about everything. The

human mind became extremely presumptuous, and undertook to form governments on exact

philosophical principles, just as men make clocks, watches or mills. They confounded the moral with the

physical world, and this was not strange, because they had begun to doubt whether there was any other

than a physical world. Society seemed to

Page 176

them a thing whose movement and action could be controlled with as much certainty as the motion of a

spinning wheel, provided it was organized on proper principles. It would have been less presumptuous

in them to have attempted to have made a tree, for a tree is not half so complex as a society of human

beings, each of whom is fearfully and wonderfully compounded of soul and body, and whose aggregate,

society, is still more complex and difficult of comprehension than its individual members. Trees grow

and man may lop, trim, train and cultivate them, and thus hasten their growth, and improve their size,

beauty and fruitfulness. Laws, institutions, societies, and governments grow, and men may aid their

growth, improve their strength and beauty, and lop off their deformities and excrescences, by punishing

crime and rewarding virtue. When society has worked long enough, under the hand of God and nature,

man observing its operations, may discover its laws and constitution. The common law of England and

the constitution of England, were discoveries of this kind. Fortunately for us, we adopted, with little

change, that common law and that constitution. Our institutions and our ancestry were English. Those

institutions were the growth and accretions of many ages, not the work of legislating philosophers.

 

Page 177

The abstractions contained in the various instruments on which we professed, but professed falsely,

to found our governments, did no harm, because, until abolition arose, they remained a dead letter.

Now, and not till now, these abstractions have become matters of serious practical importance, and we

propose to give some of them a candid, but fearless examination. We find these words in the preamble

and Declaration of Independence,

 

 

 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by

their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among them, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of

happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers

from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these

ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its

foundations on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely

to effect their safety and happiness.”

It is, we believe, conceded on all hands, that men are not born physically, morally or intellectually

equal, – some are males, some females, some from birth, large, strong and healthy, others weak, small

and sickly – some are naturally amiable,

 

Page 178

others prone to all kinds of wickednesses – some brave, others timid. Their natural inequalities beget

inequalities of rights. The weak in mind or body require guidance, support and protection; they must

obey and work for those who protect and guide them – they have a natural right to guardians,

committees, teachers or masters. Nature has made them slaves; all that law and government can do, is

to regulate, modify and mitigate their slavery. In the absence of legally instituted slavery, their condition

would be worse under that natural slavery of the weak to the strong, the foolish to the wise and

cunning. The wise and virtuous, the brave, the strong in mind and body, are by nature born to command

and protect, and law but follows nature in making them rulers, legislators, judges, captains, husbands,

guardians, committees and masters. The naturally depraved class, those born prone to crime, are our

brethren too; they are entitled to education, to religious instruction, to all the means and appliances

proper to correct their evil propensities, and all their failings; they have a right to be sent to the

penitentiary, – for there, if they do not reform, they cannot at least disturb society. Our feelings, and our

consciences teach us, that nothing but necessity can justify taking human life.

 

We are but stringing together truisms, which every body knows as well as ourselves, and yet

 

Page 179

if men are created unequal in all these respects; what truth or what meaning is there in the passage

under consideration? Men are not created or born equal, and circumstances, and education, and

association, tend to increase and aggravate inequalities among them, from generation to generation.

Generally, the rich associate and intermarry with each other, the poor do the same; the ignorant rarely

associate with or intermarry with the learned, and all society shuns contact with the criminal, even to

the third and fourth generations.

 

Men are not “born entitled to equal rights!” It would be far nearer the truth to say, “that some were

born with saddles on their backs, and others booted and spurred to ride them,” – and the riding does

 

 

them good. They need the reins, the bit and the spur. No two men by nature are exactly equal or exactly

alike. No institutions can prevent the few from acquiring rule and ascendency over the many. Liberty

and free competition invite and encourage the attempt of the strong to master the weak; and insure

their success.

 

“Life and liberty” are not “inalienable;” they have been sold in all countries, and in all ages, and

must be sold so long as human nature lasts. It is an inexpedient and unwise, and often unmerciful

restraint, on a man’s liberty of action, to

 

Page 180

deny him the right to sell himself when starving, and again to buy himself when fortune smiles. Most

countries of antiquity, and some, like China at the present day, allowed such sale and purchase. The

great object of government is to restrict, control and punish man “in the pursuit of happiness.” All

crimes are committed in its pursuit. Under the free or competitive system, most men’s happiness

consists in destroying the happiness of other people. This, then, is no inalienable right.

 

The author of the Declaration may have, and probably did mean, that all men were created with an

equal title to property. Carry out such a doctrine, and it would subvert every government on earth.

 

In practice, in all ages, and in all countries, men had sold their liberty either for short periods, for

life, or hereditarily; that is, both their own liberty and that of their children after them. The laws of all

countries have, in various forms and degrees, in all times recognized and regulated this right to alien or

sell liberty. The soldiers and sailors of the revolution had aliened both liberty and life, the wives in all

America had aliened their liberty, so had the apprentices and wards at the very moment this verbose,

newborn, false and unmeaning preamble was written.

 

 

 

Pro Slavery Documents/(Hammond 318-20).pdf

 

318

ever enjoyed upon the face of the earth. Society

precedes government ; creates it, and ought to control

it ; but as far as we can look back in historic times

we find the case different; for government is no sooner

created than it becomes too strong for society, and

shapes and moulds, as well as controls it. In later

centuries the progress of civilization and of intelli

gence has made the divergence so great as to produce

civil wars and revolutions ; and it is nothing now but

the want of harmony between governments and soci

eties which occasions all the uneasiness and trouble

and terror that we see abroad. It was this that

brought on the American Revolution. We threw off

a Government not adapted to our social system, and

made one for ourselves. The question is, how far have

we succeeded ? The South, so far as that is concerned,

is satisfied, harmonious, and prosperous, but demands

to be let alone.

In all social systems there must be a class to do

the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life.

That is, a class requiring but a low order of intellect

and but little skill. Its requisites are vigor, docility,

fidelity. Such a class you must have, or you would

not have that other class which leads progress, civiliza

tion, and refinement. It constitutes the very mud-sill

of society and of political government; and you might

as well attempt to build a house in the air, as to build

either the one or the other, except on this mud-sill.

Fortunately for the South, she found a race adapted

to that purpose to her hand. A race inferior to her

own, but eminently qualified in temper, in vigor, in

docility, in capacity to stand the climate, to answer all

her purposes. We use them for our purpose, and call

 

 

319

them slaves. We found them slaves by the common

” consent of mankind,” which, according to Cicero, ” lex

naturae est? The highest proof of what is Nature’s

law. We are old-fashioned at the South yet ; slave is

a word discarded now by ” ears polite ; ” I will not

characterize that class at the North by that term ; but

you have it ; it is there ; it is everywhere ; it is eternal.

The Senator from New York said yesterday that

the whole world had abolished slavery. Aye, the

name, but not the thing ; all the powers of the earth

cannot abolish that. God only can do it when he

repeals the Jlat, “the poor ye always have with you ;”

for the man who lives by daily labor, and scarcely

lives at that, and who has to put out his labor in the

market, and take the best he can get for it ; in short,

your whole hireling class of manual laborers and ” ope

ratives,” as you call them, are essentially slaves. The

difference between us is, that our slaves are hired for

life and well compensated ; there is no starvation, no

begging, no want of employment among our people,

and not too much employment either. Yours are hired

by the day, not cared for, and scantily compensated,

which may be proved in the most painful manner, at

any hour in any street in any of your large towns.

Why, you meet more beggars in one day, in any

single street of the city of New York, than you would

meet in a lifetime in the whole South. We do not

‘ aink that whites should be slaves either by law or

necessity. Our slaves are black, of another and in

ferior race. The status in which we have placed them

is an elevation. They are elevated from the condition

in which God first created them, by being made our

slaves. None of that race on the whole face of the

 

 

320

globe can be compared with the slaves of the South.

They are happy, content, unaspiring, and utterly in

capable, from intellectual weakness, ever to give us

any trouble by their aspirations. Yours are white, of

your own race ; you are brothers of one blood. They

are your equals in natural endowment of intellect,

and they feel galled by their degradation. Our slaves

do not vote. We give them no political power.

Yours do vote, and, being the majority, they are the

depositaries of all your political power. If they knew

the tremendous secret, that the ballot-box is stronger

than ” an army with banners,” and could combine,

where would you be ? Your society would be recon

structed, your government overthrown, your property

divided, not as they have mistakenly attempted to

initiate such proceedings by meeting in parks, with

arms in their hands, but by the quiet process of the

ballot-box. ‘ You have been making war upon us to

our very hearthstones. How would you like for us to

send lecturers and agitators North, to teach these

people this, to aid in combining, and to lead them ?

Mr. Wilson and others. Send them along.

Mr. Hammond. You say send them along. There

is no need of that. Your people are awaking. They

are coming here. They are thundering at our doors*

for homesteads, one hundred and sixty acres of land

for nothing, and Southern Senators are supporting

them. Nay, they are assembling, as I have said, with

arms in their hands, and demanding work at $1,000

a year for six hours a day. Have you heard that the

ghosts of Mendoza and Torquemada are stalking in

the streets of your great cities ? That the inquisition

is at hand ? There is afloat a fearful rumor that there

 

Pro Slavery Documents/(Harper 617-8).pdf

 

ON SOCIAL LIFE. 617

the oppression, but persons at a distance from them, and who can

hardly at all appreciate the good or the evil of their situation. It is

the unalterable condition of humanity, that men must achieve civil

liberty for themselves. The assistance of allies has sometimes

enabled nations to repel the attacks of foreign power, never to

conquer liberty against their own internal government.

In one thing I concur with the abolitionsts; that if emancipa

tion is to be brought about, it is better that it should be immediate

and total. But let us suppose it to be brought about in any man

ner, and then inquire what would be the efiects.

The first and most obvious effect‘, would be to put an end to

the cultivation of our great Southern staple. And this would be

equally the result, if we suppose the emancipated negroes to be in

no way distinguished from the free laborers of other countries,

and that their labor would be equally effective. In that case, they

would soon cease to be laborors for hire, but would scatter them

selves over our unbounded territory, to become independent land

owners themselves. The cultivation of the soil on an extensive

scale, can only be carried on where there are slaves, or in coun

tries superabounding with free labor. No such operations are

carried on in any portions of our own country where there are

not slaves. Such are carried on in England, where there is an

overflowing population and intense competition for employment.

And our institutions seem suited to the exigencies of our respect

ive situations. There, a much greater number of laborers is

required at one season of the year than at another, and the farmer

may enlarge or diminish the quantity of labor he employs, as cir

cumstances may require. Here, about the same quantity of labor

is required at every season, and the planter suffers no inconven

ience from retaining his laborers throughout the year. Imagine an

extensive rice or cotton plantation cultivated by free laborers, who

might perhaps strike for an increase of wages, at a season when

the neglect of a few days would insure the destruction of the whole

crop. Even if it were possible to procure laborers at all, what

planter would venture to carry on his operations under such cir

cumstances? I need hardly say that these staples can not be pro

duced to any extent where the proprietor of the soil cultivates it

with his own hands. He can do little more than produce the

necessary food for himself and his family.

And what would be the effect of putting an end to the cultiva

 

 

618 INFLUENCE OF SLAVERY

tion of these staples, and thus annihilating, at a blow, two-thirds

or three-fourths of our foreign commerce? Can any sane mind

contemplate such a result without terror? I speak not of the

utter poverty and misery to which we ourselves would be reduced,

and the desolation which would overspread our own portion of

the country. Our slavery has not only given existence to millions

of slaves within our own territories, it has given the means of

subsistence, and therefore existence, to millions of freemen in our

confederate States; enabling them to send forth their swarms to

overspread the plains and forests of the West, and appear as the

harbingers of civilization. The products of the industry of those

States are in general similar to those of the civilized world, and

are little demanded in their markets. By exchanging them for

ours, which are everywhere sought for, the people of these States

are enabled to acquire all the products of art and industry, all

that contributes to convenience or luxury, or gratifies the taste or

the intellect, which the rest of the world can supply. Not only

on our own continent, but on the other, it has given existence to

hundreds of thousands, and the means of comfortable subsistence

to millions. A distinguished citizen of our own State, than whom

none can be better qualified to form an opinion, has lately stated

that our great staple, cotton, has contributed more than any thing

else of later times to the progress of civilization. By enabling

the poor to obtain cheap and becoming clothing, it has inspired a

taste for comfort, the first stimulus to civilization. Does not self

dgfense, then, demand of us steadily to resist the abrogation of

that which is productive of so much good? It is more than self

defense. It is to defend millions of human beings, who are far

removed from us, from the intensest suffering, if not from being

struck out of existence. It is the defense of human civilization.

But this is but a small part of the evil which would be occa

sioned. After President Dew, it is unnecessary to say a single

word on the practicability of colonizing our slaves. The two

races, so widely separated from each other by the impress of

nature, must remain together in the same country. Whether it

be accounted the result of prejudice or reason, it is certain that

the two races will not be blended together so as to form a homo

genous population. To one who knows any thing of the nature

of man and human society, it would be unnecessary to argue that

this state of things can not continue; but that one race must be

 

Pro Slavery Documents/(Stephens).pdf

 

Extracts from Alexander Stephens, “Corner Stone” Speech.

Savanah, GA March 21, 1861

EXTRACTED FROM http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/cornerstone-speech/

This new constitution [for the Confederate States of America] or form of government, constitutes

the subject to which your attention will be partly invited. In reference to it, I make this first

general remark: it amply secures all our ancient rights, franchises, and liberties. All the great

principles of Magna Charta are retained in it. No citizen is deprived of life, liberty, or property,

but by the judgment of his peers under the laws of the land. The great principle of religious

liberty, which was the honor and pride of the old constitution, is still maintained and secured. All

the essentials of the old constitution, which have endeared it to the hearts of the American

people, have been preserved and perpetuated. Some changes have been made. Some of these I

should have preferred not to have seen made; but other important changes do meet my cordial

approbation. They form great improvements upon the old constitution. So, taking the whole new

constitution, I have no hesitancy in giving it as my judgment that it is decidedly better than the

old.

….Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this [Slavery], as the “rock upon which the old Union

would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he

fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The

prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the

formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the

laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil

they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that,

somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away.

This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The

constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and

hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured,

because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong.

They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy

foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its

corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery

subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government,

is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral

truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the

various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can

recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the

past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling

to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism

springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One

of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions

 

 

from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right

if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is

entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their

conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails.

I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and

ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South

would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to

war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the

principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were

warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men.

The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and

that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth

announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was

in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who

were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator

had made unequal.

 

Pro Slavery Documents/(Taney 756-8).pdf

 

 

 

Pro Slavery Documents/George Fitzhugh, Slavery Justified (1854).txt

http://wps.ablongman.com/wps/media/objects/2661/2725147/documents/doc_t109.html

Pro Slavery Documents/Pro Slavery Documents.txt

PRO-SLAVERY DOCUMENTS ?Christy, David. Cotton is King: Slavery in the Light of Political Economy. Fully reprinted in E.N. Elliot, ed., Cotton is King and Proslavery Arguments. Augusta: Pritchard, Abbott, and Loomis. 1860. [p. 44] Christy, David. Cotton is King: Slavery in the Light of Political Economy. Fully reprinted in E.N. Elliot, ed., Cotton is King and Proslavery Arguments. Augusta: Pritchard, Abbott, and Loomis. 1860. [pp. 55-6] Fitzhugh, George. “Slavery Justified.” 1854. Pearson Education. 1995-2005. Web. Fitzhugh, George. Sociology for the South: or, The Failure of Free Society. UNC Electronic Edition: 1998 [1854]. Web. Hammond, James H. Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond of South Carolina. New York: John F. Trow and Co. 1866. ?Harper, Chancellor. Slavery in the Light of Social Ethics, fully reprinted in E.N. Elliot, ed., Cotton is King and Proslavery Arguments. Augusta: Pritchard, Abbott, and Loomis. 1860. Stephens, Alexander. “The Cornerstone Speech.” March 1861. Web. Teaching History. Taney, Roger. Opinion on Dred Scott Case. fully reprinted in E.N. Elliot, ed., Cotton is King and Proslavery Arguments. Augusta: Pritchard, Abbott, and Loomis. 1860.

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SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT

 

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Instructions for HIST 1305 Essay

Using primary texts supplied IN THE FOLDERS ABOVE, write a 750-word essay that demonstrates how proponents and the opponents of slavery used two of the four analytical concepts that framed this course (Mobility, Democracy, Capitalism, and Difference).  You should explain how these writers used American history to defend their positions. Your paper should conclude by explaining why some contemporaries of slavery may have found certain arguments compelling, while others found them offensive (to conclude effectively, you will need to explain the historical context in which these texts were written, based on what you have read in the Keene text and learned in class discussion). NB: you are not expected to incorporate  all sources listed, just those relevant to your approach to paper prompt. Your paper must be submitted as a MS Word document, which can be attached and uploaded by clicking the red text, above.

No secondary sources, other than the Keene text, should be integrated into this paper’s analysis.

· Your paper should briefly introduce your paper’s topic or question and provide a thesis statement. In a paper of this size, your introduction and thesis statement should appear on the first page, in the paper’s first paragraph.

· Your paper should show that you reasoned through the evidence in a fair-minded way. In other words, you should state (paraphrase) what your evidence says and not what you wish it said or think it should say. You need to state the evidence fairly, even if you think it wrong or offensive.

· Your paper should use evidence to answer the historical question. You need to explain how the evidence answers the question. The easiest way to figure this is to think through your evidence and argument using one or more of the key concepts for this course.

· Your paper should briefly explain an implication or limitation of your analysis. For an implication, you might consider how your analysis sheds light on one of the course’s key terms. For a limitation, you  might note which key concepts your analysis does not (or cannot) address.

· Your paper should develop and organize your thoughts clearly and logically. Outlining is a necessary, but not required, step in writing a well-organized paper.

· Your paper should draw a conclusion that addresses the paper’s chief topic or question and that states your answer to the question or your contribution to the topic.

How to cite the sources using MLA:   Below you will see examples of the formatting for citing your sources.  Note that there is an “in text” format, which appears after you directly cite or paraphrase a passage from one of the sources.  The “cited reference page” format is for listing only the sources you use, at the very end of the paper. CRP= Cited Reference Page Style ITR= In-Text Reference Style Textbook CRP: Keene, Jennifer D., Saul Cornell, Edward T. O’Donnell. Visions of America: A History of the United States. New York: Pearson. 2017. ITR: (Keene et. al. <insert page #>) Antislavery Primary Sources CRP: “Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Convention [1833]” in Proceedings of the American Anti-Slavery Society at the Third Decade. New York: American Anti-slavery Society, 1864.  ITR: (“Declaration, ” 17-21)  CRP: “1848 Free Soil Party Platform.” Web.  ITR:  (“Free Soil “) CRP: Child, [Lydia Maria]. An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans. New York: John S. Taylor. 1836. ITR:  (Child, 106-8) CRP: Garrison, William Lloyd. “An Excerpt from The Great Crisis!” The Liberator. Vol. II., No. 52. December 29, 1832. Web. Fair Use Repository. ITR:  (Garrison ) CRP: Lincoln, Abraham. “Peoria Speech,” Peoria, Ill. October 16, 1854. Web. National Park Service ITR:  (Lincoln ) CRP: Truth, Sojourner. “Ain’t I a Woman?” December 1851. Web. Fordham University, Modern History Sourcebook. ITR:  (Truth ) Proslavery Texts CRP: Christy, David. Cotton is King: Slavery in the Light of Political Economy.   Fully reprinted in E.N. Elliot, ed., Cotton is King and Proslavery Arguments. Augusta: Pritchard, Abbott, and Loomis. 1860. ITR:  (Christy, 44) or (Christy, 55-6) CRP: Fitzhugh, George. “Slavery Justified.” 1854. Pearson Education. 1995-2005.  Web.  ITR:  (Fitzhugh,“Slavery”) CRP: Fitzhugh, George. Sociology for the South: or, The Failure of Free Society. UNC Electronic Edition: 1998 [1854]. Web. ITR:  (Fitzhugh, “Sociology” 176-188)  CRP: Hammond, James H. Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond of South Carolina. New York: John F. Trow and Co. 1866.  ITR:  (Hammond, 318-20) CRP: Harper, Chancellor. Slavery in the Light of Social Ethics, fully reprinted in E.N. Elliot, ed., Cotton is King and Proslavery Arguments. Augusta: Pritchard, Abbott, and Loomis. 1860. ITR:  (Harper 617-8) CRP: Stephens, Alexander. “The Cornerstone Speech.” March 1861. Web. Teaching History. ITR:  (Stephens ) CRP: Taney, Roger. Opinion on Dred Scott Case. fully reprinted in E.N. Elliot, ed., Cotton is King and Proslavery Arguments. Augusta: Pritchard, Abbott, and Loomis. 1860. ITR:  (Taney, 756-758 )