« AnteriorContinuar »
D. M. Graham, Professor Grosvenor, &c., and also the Revs. Newman Hall, and Baptist Noel, E. Matthews, and Oncken; Professor Newman ; Goddard and Stoddard, Mason Jones, and Henry Vincent, on American questions.
This test is two-fold. On moral and religious grounds it is no compromise of truth with falsehood, and no pressing of the sword to uproot human crime. And on civil grounds the test is the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. On the above basis the little stripling writer can make short, sharp, and decisive work with the above classes of advocates and writers, as it would be quite easy to take them by the beard and smite them under the fifth rib of their consciences. I must not forget to state that I think President Lincoln is entitled to a vote of thanks for the nail to fasten down the lid in the coffin of the above questionable, if not false and spurious philanthropy. Yours for truth as well as liberty,
JOSHUA R BALME, An American Baptist Clergyman and Uncompromising Abolitionist.
London House, Hill Street; Birmingham, July 4, 1864.
THE FREEDMEN'S AID COMMISSION AND
ITS ENGLISH AUXILIARIES.
To the Editor of the Daily Gazette.
SIR,— With the deepest and broadest emphasis our attention is called to the urgent necessities of “poor coloured freedmen” by the agents and advocates of the above society and auxiliaries.
When in a state of ignoble bondage, these oppressed and down-trodden people not only fed and clothed themselves, but their owners, so called, and provided them with many of the luxuries of life, as well as secured a provision for the helpless from infancy even to old age. Now is it unreasonable to suppose that they cannot maintain themselves in freedom, and also their dependents, when they did so much in slavery? Why then this accumulated misery amongst these unfortunates? How are we to account for their distress, shown in the harrowing details given in the public prints of their condition ?
One cause is the wantonness of cruelty and reckless savageism and barbarity with which the present war is carried on by our Federal armies, shown in the use of stone fleets and torches-sealing up ports of commerce, reducing prosperous towns and villages to ashes, and changing plantations which almost reflected the hues of paradise into a wilderness of desolation, ruin and woe, making it more difficult for the people of the South to obtain suitable food and clothing. Hence the utterly destitute and famished condition of the negroes when they reach the Federal lines, as their escape to freedom is from homesteads where the woe-cup has been filled to the brim by war
and their pathway to it through "plantations desolated by its ravages.”
Another cause is the unnatural and cruel proscription of the negroes in the efforts made to detain them by the Federal Government, in what is called the “volunteer refreshment saloons.” First, because they are not wanted in the North, where their presence and colour is considered a pollution and a nuisance, although our Northern people are sending the cry across the Atlantic, by every breeze, to emigrants to make their homes in our country, enchanting them with the delusion that it is an “asylum for the oppressed of all nationalities," and deluding them with the prospect that they will find it the “ Paradise of the Universe.” Secondly, because these volunteer refreshment saloons would be a convenient trap where they could seize the able-bodied to form them into “black regiments," on the same principle and according to the same model of our "black churches ;” and also to use them as teamsters and body-servants to
the different grades of officers and agents in the Federal armies. Hence the orders issued by the administrators of the Federal Government to prevent any negroes coming North when they reach the Federal lines ; and hence, also, the misery of the helpless who are handed over to the cold pittance of charity and the tender mercies of the agents and officers of the commissariat—a class of men not over liberal, or very tender or considerate in their regard for the well-being of those unfortunate creatures, as shown in the reports of Sanitary Commissioners. Such being the inexorable logic of facts, can you, will you. ought you to give your sympathies, or to sustain with your practical benevolence the imbecile administrators of our Federal Government, or to co-operate with men masked under the names of high sounding titles, such as “Sanitary Fairs,” and “Freedmen's Aid Christian Missions," engaged in sustaining such a philanthropy as the above ?
If the British Government were to take ablebodied men to help to fight your battles, and place their associates and dependents in a state of helplessness and misery where they would have nothing to fall back upon but the cold pittance of charity, and where they could not by any possibility help themselves, would it not deserve the bitterest reproaches and the severest censures and reprobation of mankind ? and would the Britishers in such a case be satisfied if the British Government called into being "accompaniments,"or auxiliaries, under masked names and high-sounding titles, to do for it what was the bounden duty of the Government to do itself, in order hat it might be more free for the work of massacre and blood, what would you think of such a governnent, or such auxiliaries, or their advocates or supporters?
What, then, are we to think of the Federal Government and people in such a case? Where is their sense of decency and shame, leaving out regard for principle and honour ?
In view of the above facts, it is quite easy to plant our feet in the breach, scale the ramparts of the Midland Freedmen's Aid Association, which, it appears, swarm with men who are bound with strong and chosen delusions; and, after dislodging them from their false positions, run up our flagstaffs, whilst with matchless grace and undaunted courage we hurl back in their faces their false imputations and menacing insults, tearing to shreds before their eyes their “ spurious designations" and lions' skins which show the long ears cropping out-a truly pitiable and humiliating spectacle. It is a matter of little moment to be unknown or disowned by certain classes of religionists or philanthropists, and the writer has no dread of father confessors or inquisitorial racks. Yours, for truth as well as liberty,
JOSHUA R. BALME,