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those habits, established long before the Constitution, and could not now be remedied. He begged congress to reflect on the number on the continent who were opposed to this Constitution, and on the number which yet remained in the Southern States. “The violation of this compact they would seize on with avidity; they would make a handle of it to cover their designs against the government, and many good federalists, who would be injured by the measure, would be induced to join them; his heart was truly federal, and it had always been so; and he wished those designs frustrated. He begged congress to beware before they went too far; he called on them to attend to the interests of two whole States, as well as a memorial of a society of Quakers, who came forward to blow the trumpet of sedition, and to destroy that Constitution which they had not in the least contributed, by personal services or supply, to establish. “He seconded Mr. Tucker's motion.” It would seem, from Mr. Jackson's observations, he thought the memorial was so much in harmony with the Constitution that congress would, by adopting its principles, be but making resolutions confirmatory of their acknowledged powers; and also the thought never struck him the African could have willingly emigrated to this country, if proper means had been used to induce him to come, as well as to have brought him here by force, and against his consent. “Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, said the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Gerry) had declared it was the opinion of the select committee of which he was a member that the memorial from the Pennsylvania Socie
ty required congress to violate the Constitution. It was . not less astonishing to see Dr. Franklin taking the lead in a business which looks so much like persecution of the southern inhabitants, when he recollected the parable he had written some time ago, with a view of showing the impropriety of one set of men persecuting others for a difference of opinion. The parable was to this effect: An old traveller, hungry and weary, applied to the patriarch Abraham for a night's lodging. In conversation, Abraham discovered the stranger differed from him on religious points, and turned him out of doors. In the night God appeared unto Abraham, and said, Where is the stranger ? Abraham answered, I found that he did not worship the true God, and so I turned him out of doors. The Almighty thus rebuked the patriarch: * Have I borne with him threescore and ten years, and couldst not thou bear with him one night?” Has not the Almighty, said Mr. Smith, borne with us more than threescore and ten years 2 He has even made our country opulent, and shed the blessings of affluence and prosperity on our land, notwithstanding all its slaves, and must we now be ruined on account of the tender consciences of a few scrupulous individuals who differ from us on this point? “Mr. Boudinot agreed with the general doctrines of Mr. S. but could not agree that the clause in the Constitution relating to the want of power in congress to prohibit the importation of such persons as any of the States now evisting shall think proper to admit, prior to the year 1808, and authorizing a tax or duty on such importations, not exceeding ten dollars for each person, did not extend to negro slaves. Candor required that he should acknowledge that this was the express design of the Constitution; and therefore congress could not interfere in prohibiting the importation, or promoting the emancipation, of them, prior to that period.
“Mr. Boudinot observed, that he was well informed the tax or duty often dollars was provided instead of five per cent. ad valorem, and was so expressly understood by all the parties in the convention; that therefore it was the interest and duty of congress to impose this tax, or it would not be doing justice to the States, or equalizing the duties throughout the Union. If this was not done, merchants might bring their whole capital in this branch of trade, and save paying any duties whatever, Mr. Boudinot observed, that the gentleman had overlooked the prophecy of St. Peter, where he foretells, among other damnable heresies, ‘Through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.’” [Memorial rejected.]
Without adverting here to any arguments used in this work on the general welfare, the interest the whole country has in suppressing insurrections and keeping the people in a state of peace and quietness, or the power of congress over the effective strength of the country in case of war, if Mr. Madison’s and Mr. Gerry's assertions are correct in the foregoing proceedings — and Mr. Madison was an actor in all of the various stages through which the Constitution passed, and who undoubtedly had as good an opportunity of knowing the feelings and sentiments of all who had taken an interest in having it adopted as any one, and whose opinions seem, in some measure, to have changed towards this point — our second proposition, we think, is proved ; namely, that the general government has power to abolish the system of slavery, if it should require its assistance so to do.
Elliot's Reports, vol. iv. p. 211.
ARGUMENTS DERIVED FROM THE DECISIONS OF THE COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.
WE will now turn to some of the legal decisions made in the Supreme Court of the United States, and see if we can glean from them any views that would coincide with the opinion held forth in this work. In doing so, we are aware that, in many cases cited, the subject of slavery, or the relation the slave is said to hold to his master, may not have entered into the mind of the judge, or judges, who have decided in the several cases brought forward. Consequently, we shall assume the colored man has inalienable rights, as well as the white man; and if he is a man, he must be treated as such ; and, therefore, whatever is true of one is true of the other, and the immunities granted to one is equally to be considered within the reach of the other. For, unless we admit the law of force — that might makes right—and that the decisions of our courts are founded on this principle, we must put ALL men under the protection of the law; and as no distinction is any where acknowledged as dependent on the color of the skin, and the colored man has not admitted he is subject to any laws that may have been made in. violation of his rights, we must suppose the courts will not object, that the doctrines advanced that secure the rights of one class of men are broad enough to secure the rights of all. For we ask the question — and we put it with all seriousness — if A, B, and C can get together and make laws for D, E, and F, when D, E, and F do not acknowledge the supremacy that is sought to be obtained, what right has A, B, and C to make laws for D, E, and F, when the latter can take care of themselves as well as the former; or, even if they cannot so well as might be desired, if they are satisfied with their condition, and do not interfere with the rights of others, from whence does A, B, and C, or any one else, derive their authority to cause D, E, and F, against their will, to bow to their supremacy Clearly they, nor any others, have the right, unless, when they come into society to enjoy its benefits, they, with the rest, submit to equal and impartial laws. Supposing, then, that the government of the United States was established for the purpose — and as we have attempted in these pages to prove it was established — to give equal and impartial laws to all, whether white or black, bond or free, whether they live at the South, or reside at the North ; that all and each come under the same laws, are to be treated alike ; and that there is to be no distinction, where no distinction is pointed out. The descendants of Africa are nowhere designated to be treated . differently from the descendants of Europe: one fate, one destiny, so far as language expresses